Peppermint Cream Parfait

A light and irresistible ice cream dotted with pieces of chocolate peppermint cream. It can be made at least a day in advance. If you have any, add a little crème de menthe with the peppermint essence.

Ingredients

  • whites of 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 175 g/6 oz caster sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint essence
  • 300 ml/½ pint whipping cream
  • 100-150 g/4-5 oz box wafer-thin chocolate peppermint creams
  • fresh mint leaves, to decorate

Method

Put the egg whites in a bowl with the salt and whisk until they stand in soft peaks. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then increase the heat and boil fiercely, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour immediately on to the egg whites in a thin stream, whisking all the time with an electric whisk at high speed. Add the peppermint essence and continue whisking until the mixture is thick. In a separate bowl whisk the cream until softly thick and then gently but thoroughly fold it into the egg white mixture with a metal spoon. Using a sharp knife, cut the peppermint creams into thin pieces and fold them into the ice cream mixture. Then pour into a serving bowl — glass looks nice — and freeze for at least 5 hours.

You should be able to serve the parfait straight from the freezer but if it seems too hard, leave it in the main part of the fridge for half an hour or so before eating. Decorate with a cluster of mint leaves before serving.

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