Parfait is the French word for "perfect," and these elegant little treats live up to the billing. Served straight from the freezer, their texture is similar to ice cream's, but they take on a mousselike consistency when thawed for a minute or two on the plate. Parfaits can be frozen up to 3 days.
12 hr 40 min
5 min
8 servings


Hot Fudge Sauce, recipe follows;


Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a standing electric mixer; 8 (8 to 9-ounces) paper cups

Hot Fudge Sauce, recipe follows;

Bring milk and 1/2 cup cream just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and keep warm, covered. In another small heavy saucepan, add 1/2 cup sugar and stir, over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and cook until the sugar turns a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add warm cream mixture (mixture will steam vigorously and caramel will harden). Cook over low heat, whisking, until caramel is dissolved. Whisk together yolks, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl, then add hot caramel mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Transfer custard to saucepan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring, until thickened and registers 170 degrees F on thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl of standing mixer, then beat at high speed 10 minutes (mixture will be completely cool, thick, and pale). Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream in another bowl until it just holds stiff peaks, then whisk about 1/4 of cream into chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly and divide mixture among paper cups (each only 3/4 full), smoothing tops. Cover each cup with foil and freeze parfaits for at least 12 hours. To serve, carefully tear off each paper cup and invert parfaits onto plates.

Hot Fudge Sauce:

2/3 cup heavy cream

 1/2 cup light corn syrup 

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate to a boil in a 1 to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Cool sauce to warm before serving. Yield: 2 cups Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Ease of preparation: easy


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