Frozen Chocolate Caramel Parfaits

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.]

Total Time:
12 hr 40 min
5 min
12 hr
35 min

8 servings

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • 7 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a standing electric mixer; 8 (8 to 9-ounces) paper cups
  • Accompaniments: Hot Fudge Sauce, recipe follows; unsweetened whipped cream; fresh raspberries
  • 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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