zondag 28 juli 2013

Lemon Mousse Parfait

Today I went to a restaurant and ordered a "Lemon Mousse Parfait", I have never ever heard of a parfait and never tasted it. It was really tasty!

It tasted like ice cream, because it was very cold. But it actually wasn't ice cream. It was more of a mousse. So I wanted to make one myself.

What you need for a parfait is basically heavy cream, sugar, egg yolk. That's it. Then you add the taste you like, for example: lemon juice, lemon zest or mangos, whatever you like.

I took this recipe:
finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
300 ml double cream

1) First mix the egg yolks with the sugar over a hot water bath. Mix until the mixture turns pale and stop at 80 °C. Let it cool down in ice water.
2) Mix the egg yolk/sugar with the lime juice and zest.
3) Whip the cream until soft peaks and fold it with the egg yolk mixture.
4) Put in freezer for 8 or more hours.

It's that simple. Now let's see if making it is as simple as it seems.


The next day, I tried to make it and it sure as hell wasn't easy.

Let's go over all my mistakes.

First off, I made the egg/sugar mixture first, which was a mistake, because the time to make the whipped cream was much longer than the time to make the egg/sugar mixture. By the time that the cream was whipped, my egg/sugar mixture started to deform and harden (because the bowl was still hot and I didn't cool it down in ice water). But it wasn't all that bad. What we learn here is: first whip the cream, then make the egg/sugar mixture. And cool down the egg/sugar mixture with cold water.

Egg and Sugar Mixture

Second, when I made the egg/sugar mixture (which was pretty easy to make), I used a warm water bowl while mixing. But I made the mistake to use the same warm bowl to whip the cream. The result was that I made butter out of it.

I made butter
Third, I had no idea how to whip cream. I mixed much too hard and I used a warm bowl to mix the cream. These are the worst conditions to whip cream. The right way is to follow these steps:
  1. Always use a cold bowl, cold cream, cold whip.
  2. Try to use cream that is as old as possible, fresh cream doesn't work well.
  3. Use cream that has a very high fat percentage, preferably 40%. I used 30%.
  4. Do not mix the cream at high speed, use medium speed. Otherwise you risk making butter.
  5. Mix the cream with a mixer and your arm should make large circular strokes to get the air in.
  6. When you see the cream thicken, you will have soft peaks after a few minutes and that's what you're looking for.

I tried to whip a second time and it worked. Now for the taste, I added blackcurrant because the garden had those.
I mixed egg/sugar with some blackcurrant juice and added that to the whipped cream.

Blackcurrant Parfait
And finally put it in the freezer. I have the feeling that I didn't whip the cream long enough.

After three hours in the freezer, I couldn't resist to taste it. The taste was pretty good, but the texture wasn't good. I tasted ice crystals, normally you wouldn't taste ice. This means I either added too much blackcurrant juice, or I didn't whip the cream long enough. Next time, I will whip the cream longer. Another issue is the sugar. I added half the amount of the sugar, but that was a mistake too. The sugar is crucial to prohibit the ice crystals from forming as sugar lowers the freezing temperature.

End Result
- It is best to mix the egg yolks as much as possible, until it gets very hard and the color turns almost white.
- Always put the mixture in the freezer as soon as possible, because the fluid and the fat should be held together.
- Do not add too much liquid to the mixture.
- Make sure all your ingredients are ice cold when mixing them together, otherwise you will get separation of fluids.

Other Recipes:
Now if you think you can't do anything with the left over egg whites. This lemon parfait recipe uses egg white only.


  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water 
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) sugar 
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3 egg whites 
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) cream of tartar 
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) 35% cream 
  • Seasonal berries, for garnish 
  • Tuiles or other thin, crisp cookies 


Line a 13 x 23-cm (5 x 9-inch) loaf pan with plastic wrap.
In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar and lemon zest to a boil. Simmer without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 112°C (234°F).
In a bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer. When soft peaks begin to form, add the hot syrup in a thin stream while still beating. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, whip the cream. With a spatula, fold in the chilled meringue and the lemon juice.
Spread the mixture in the loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Unmould and slice. Garnish with seasonal fruit and serve with a tuile or other delicate cookie.

If you want yet another recipe, here's one to make Coffee Parfait by Raymond Blanc:


Preparation method

  1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and dessert wine together in a large heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy.
  2. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and has thickened (the temperature of the mixture should reach about 78-80C/175F).
  3. Remove from the heat, set the bowl in a larger bowl of iced water and whisk again until cool.
  4. Whisk in the cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Set aside until completely cold.
  5. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the cooled sabayon mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining cream until just combined.
  6. Fold the coffee essence carefully into the sabayon until combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a 1.2kg/2lb 10¼oz loaf tin, levelling the top with a palette knife. Chill in the freezer for at least 12 hours, or until solid.
  8. When ready to serve, remove the coffee parfait from the freezer and dip the loaf tin into hot water to loosen the parfait from the tin. Run a blunt knife around the parfait, then turn it out onto a long rectangular plate.
  9. To serve, slice the coffee parfait and serve with caramel sauce or vanilla cream, if using. Sprinkle with chopped roasted nuts and dust with cocoa powder.

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