Our first thought was, “Why isn’t every day National Chocolate Parfait Day?” Then we started looking at recipes. Maybe it is better to save this kind of thing for May 1st. It seems a parfait is a little more complex than we expected. A good parfait–which literally means “perfect” in French–has been the name of one of America’s favorite desserts since 1894. That’s when people put real effort into a dessert. It takes layers of delicious cream, ice cream, and other ingredients like yogurt, nuts, chocolate, and fruit to make the perfect parfait.
It’s also often served in a tall, clear glass–which, we’re happy to say, can be found pretty easily in a plastic version at the supermarket. So it was quite elaborate, but we’re still very proud of this Brownie Pecan Chocolate Parfait that we found at AllRecipes. Fair warning, though: these have to chill overnight, so you’re going to be a little late in celebrating National Chocolate Parfait Day. And another important warning–this recipe makes 8 servings! [photo via allrecipes]
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Bar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Busier moms can also substitute brownies made from a store-bought mix to save on time and money–and, of course, you can remove the pecans from the parfair below if their child has a nut allergy….
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 cup good quality store bought caramel sauce
To make the brownies:
- Spray a square 8-inch pan with nonstick spray and coat with flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter together over a double boiler. Whisk until smooth.
- Whisk the sugar and egg together in a bowl. Stir the chocolate and butter into the sugar mixture. Stir in the flour. Spread in the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Cool, remove from the pan and cut into 1/2 inch squares.
To make the parfait:
- Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugars.
- Whisk in the evaporated milk and then the cornstarch.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, with a heat resistant rubber spatula, until thick, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture gets lumpy at any time during the cooking process, briefly switch to a whisk and whisk until smooth.)
Place the mixture in a clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cold.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled mixture.
To assemble the parfaits, in the bottom of martini, wine or any clear glass with approximately a 3/4 cup capacity, put about 4 pieces of brownies, about 2 teaspoons caramel sauce, and 2 teaspoons pecans. Top with about 3 tablespoons parfait mixture. Repeat layering with 2 more layers of brownies, caramel sauce and pecans and 1 more layer of parfait, ending with a layer of the brownies, pecans and caramel.
Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.