Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitThese Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits are a simple, no heat dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months. Creamy and crunchy with fresh strawberries and chocolate, these parfaits can even be made the day ahead.

The glass in the picture originally belonged to Mike’s grandmother. I love the delicacy of the flute and the green stem. It seemed like they were waiting for these parfaits.

The chocolate crunch can be made using any nut you wish. I chose almonds, but have used hazelnuts in the past.  To avoid the oven, I put them in a dry skillet over medium heat.  It is best to watch them, turning them often so they don’t burn.  You will notice I said “best to watch….. .” Since I don’t always follow my own advice I have sometimes burned them using this method so I didn’t wander too far away this time.

Besides the chocolate being good with strawberries, it adds a crunchy note to the parfaits. The one thing to be careful about, is breaking it into small pieces when they are added as a layer. I left some of them rather large and they are hard to cut through when eating. So think small here.

This is my favorite mascarpone filling and I have used it in the Peachy Keen and Tiramasu Parfaits. It is lighter than pastry cream even when lightened with whipped cream  and there is no cooking with this filling. The original recipe called for granulated sugar but I found no matter how long I beat it, the sugar never dissolved so I changed it to powdered sugar. The filling is extremely creamy.

The components are layered together and that is all there is to it. I finish them with whipped cream, a shard of the chocolate almond crunch and a few more diced strawberries.

Like I said – a perfect do-ahead summer dessert.

Chocolate Almond CrunchCrunch ingredients for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits
1/4 cup slivered almonds (35 ounces or 1 1/4 ounces)
5 ounces semi sweet or milk chocolate (140 grams)
1/2 cup rice krispies or (17 grams or about 2/3 ounce)

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment.  Set aside.Sprayed pan for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

To keep from heating the oven, I simply put the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. I watched them and stirred them several times until they were a golden brown. Cool completely. When cool, place them in a food processor and process  them so they are fairly fine but not powdered. Admission:  I forgot the pictures but you get the idea.

Melt the chocolate over hot water or in a microwave at half power. Add the almonds and rice krispies. Stir to combine everything and coat the nuts and rice krispies.Chocolate, rice krispies and almonds for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread very thinly. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the pafaits.Crunch spread out for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

Mascarpone FillingMascarpone filling ingredients for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits2 cups diced strawberries
3/4 cup 40% cream
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (180 grams or 7 1/3 ounces)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mascarpone cheese (225 grams or 8 ounces)

Dice the strawberries no larger than 1/2 inch. Set aside.

Fit a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream until stiff. Remove from the mxing bowl and set aside.Whipped cream in bowl for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsWithout cleaning the bowl, add the powdered sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat 5 to 7 minutes until very light in color and the volume has increased by 3 times or more.Eggs, vanilla, sugar for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsEggs, vanilla and sugar whipped for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsAdd 1/3 of the mascarpone to the bowl at a time. Beat until incorporated.  Continue until all of the mascarpone is used.  Scrape down often.Mascarpone added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitAll the mascarpone added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsStir 1/3 of the cream into the mascarpone;First cream added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits First cream stirred in for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaitsfold in the remaining cream.Folding in cream for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsMascarone filling finished for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitsWhipped Cream Topping
1 1/4 cups 40% cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar (40 grams or 1 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until very stiff.Cream whipping for the Strawberry chocolate Crunch ParfaitsAssembly
Mascarpone Filling
Diced Strawberries
Chocolate Almond Crunch
Whipped Cream Topping
5 to 6  wine glasses

Place a small dollop of mascarpone filling in the bottom of the wine glasses.Mascarpone in the bottom of the glass for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitLayer with some of the strawberries. Strawberries added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitAdd the chocolate almond crunch.Crunch added for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait Repeat once more and top the last layer of crunch with mascarpone.Top layer for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitPlace the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a #5 or 6 open star tip and pipe a large rosette to cover the top of the mascarpone.Piping the whipped cream for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitFinishing piping cream for the Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait

Finish with a shard of chocolate almond crunch and a few diced strawberries.

Refrigerate until serving time.

Chocolate Raspberry Marzipan Gateau

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry Marzipan GateauThis Chocolate Raspberry Marzipan Gateau is a prime example of French baking. I can’t remember where this comes from, certainly I did not come up with it. The three hole paper is turning yellow with age so it has to be when I was learning and becoming interested in pastry as a profession.

A note on the bottom says, “This is a wonderfully moist and flavorful combination.” I love finding little notes on old recipes. Continue reading

Toasted Angel Food Cake, Roasted Strawberries and Balsamic Whipped Cream

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Toasted Angel Food Cake with Roasted StrawberriesEvery once in a while, a recipe comes together and surpasses every expectation – Toasted Angel Food Cake, Roasted Strawberries and Balsamic Whipped Cream is that recipe.  Now I am the first to admit it is a different take on every component in the dessert.  But let’s take a look at those components.

What if I told you an Angel Food Cake can be made without the dreaded folding in of flour and sugar which can deflate the whites making a denser, less airy cake.  I love Angel Food Cake for its light, moist,melt in your mouth texture. It is snow white and has an ethereal quality to it, hence the name.  

The recipe I am giving you here is from my bakery.  It is the tallest, lightest, best angel food cake I have ever had.  I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t.  It came in a General Mills baking flyer they sent to bakeries many years ago. Continue reading

Very Easy Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Blueberry Crumb Coffee CakeThis Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake has everything going for it. It is super easy, beautiful to look at and better to eat.  One of the things I most love about this coffeecake is that it is not overwhelmingly sweet.

One mixture makes the crumbs and forms the basis for the batter. This Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake can be mixed and in the oven in 20 minutes.

I love the lemon glaze but if you want to skip this step, just sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Continue reading

International Flatbreads-An Easier Version of Pizza

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

International FlatbreadsThis International Flatbreads post started with my interest in exploring 00 flour. The recipe I chose to work with was for a pizza dough from Roberta’s restaurant in New York. The recipe came from the New York Times.

I suggest you get a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you drink, find a comfy chair and get ready to read this rather lengthy blog.

Pizza my way is something I really love to make. It is simple and satisfying. But more than pizza I love flatbreads. The lack of a sauce allows the ingredients to come through with a power they can’t otherwise.

Anyway, back to the flour. The recipe calls for 00 flour, which has recently become the new darling of the flour world. So I went to my Italian grocer and bought a bag. I found the flour to be incredibly smooth and fine. I loved the feel and texture of it. Continue reading