This week our gracious hound has been received at Buckingham Palace no less!
Rhubarb and White Chocolate Parfait – a royal delight from Buckingham Palace
Corgi-envy aside, Fidget had a splendid day and enjoyed the most sumptuous fare. The crowning moment was the dessert: a parfait fit for a king (or queen)! If you want to make it yourself, you can find the original recipe on page 68 of A Royal Cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace (Mark Flanagan, Royal Collection Trust, 2014).
For the chocolate meringue sponge you will need: 3 eggs separated, 50g unrefined caster sugar, 20g extra brut cocoa powder.
For the rhubarb parfait you will need: 300g rhubarb cut in 1cm cubes, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 35g caster sugar, 100g whipping cream, 300g white chocolate.
Start by making the sponge. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Whisk the egg whites, adding the caster sugar a little at a time to form stiff peaks. Gently fold in the yolks then the sieved cocoa powder until fully combined. Spread the meringue mixture evenly across a lined Swiss roll tin and bake for 10–12min. Remove from the oven, turn the sponge onto another sheet of baking parchment and let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the rhubarb mixture. Place the chopped rhubarb in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with 20g of caster sugar and bake until it softens (15–20min at 200°C/gas 6). Set aside 2/3 for garnishing. Add the vanilla to the remaining rhubarb and puree with a hand blender. Sieve to remove the stringy parts.
Whisk the egg yolk with the remaining 15g sugar until pale and fluffy. Separately whip the cream. Gently fold together the rhubarb pulp, egg yolk / sugar and cream mixtures.
Using cling film, line a rectangular dish half the size of the Swiss roll tin. Cut the chocolate meringue sponge in half and place the first half in the dish. Cover with half the rhubarb mixture, then place the other half of the sponge on top. Finish with another layer of rhubarb mixture. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. When it has hardened enough to hold together, use a ring cutter to make rounds – or if you don’t want to waste any, just use a big knife and cut rectangular or square portions. You can prepare the parfaits up to this stage the day before and store in the freezer (keeping the rhubarb set aside for garnish in the fridge until needed).
An hour or so before serving make the white chocolate wrappings. Start by shaving 30–50g of the chocolate with a potato peeler (to be used as sprinkles on the plate). Cut strips of baking parchment sized to wrap around the parfaits and about 1cm taller. Melt the remaining chocolate (in a bowl over hot water or with 20-second bursts in the microwave) and spread it on the parchment strips. Let the strips cool and firm slightly and, when still pliable, wrap around the parfaits. Leave the parchment paper until the white chocolate has fully re-hardened then gently peel off.
To serve, place a parfait on a plate, top with the reserved garnish rhubarb, sprinkle some white chocolate and decorate the plate with few more pieces of rhubarb.
Happy and glorious – a lot of effort but well worthwhile! Deserving of a royal warrant: arise Sir Fidget!