Fresh Cherry Christmas Parfait

11:30 am on 10 December 2012

This parfait can be made several days ahead and frozen. Remove form the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8.


  • 150g sugar
  • 100ml cold water
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100g chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona Guanaja)
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 150g stoned and chopped cherries
  • 450ml cream, whipped

Cherry sauce

  • 1kg fresh cherries, stones removed
  • 4 talespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch or dark rum
  • few perfect mint leaves


Dissolve the sugar with the cold water in a saucepan over a gentle heat (make sure every grain of sugar is dissolved or crystals will form in your parfait) then bring to a simmer.

Boil until the temperature reaches 108°C. If you do not have a sugar thermometer, watch the surface of the liquid carefully and when lots of small bubbles seem to join up, the sugar syrup will be dense enough and ready to use.

Have the egg yolks ready in a bowl and whisk with an electric beater until fluffy. Gradually add the hot sugar syrup in a slow but steady stream while continuously beating. Whisk for 7-10 minutes until the mixture has cooled and is a very pale cream colour and doubled in volume.

Fold the chopped chocolate in with the rum, cinnamon, cloves and cherries then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon this mixture into a 1.5-litre pudding basin or freezer tray. Place in the freezer immediately, leaving at least overnight to set, and serve within 4-5 days. (It is important to cover with plastic wrap so the parfait does not get tainted with freezer odours.)

Remove the stones from the fresh cherries using a cherry pipper. Place the cherries in a saucepan with the sugar and water and bring to a gentle simmer. Let the cherries simmer for about 5 minutes then take off the heat, add the Kirsch liqueur or dark rum and refrigerate until needed.

To serve, place 1-2 wedges or scoops on dessert plates. Spoon a little cherry sauce over each portion and serve at once.

Wine Match by Stephen Morris

Clearview Sea Red 2010 (Hawke’s Bay). Do not think of this as a New Zealand version of port! This is a dessert red wine that is sweet and full of berries. It’s lighter than port and has a cleaner fruit character. The taste is lots of dried fruit and a long rich finish.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame 2004 (Champagne) it’s almost Christmas and some people can be richly ridiculous. This is one of the best wines I’ve tasted in the last year. It’s delicate and floral at first and then the flowers resolve themselves into red and white blooms. There are Christmas fruit mince notes. There are layers and layers of flavor. I think I let out an expletive of surprised pleasure when I first tried this. Somewhere about $300.00 - $350.00.

Honourable mention: Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rosé NV (Marlborough). The best sparkling pink wine I’ve tried from NZ in a long time. A good depth of colour. Chocolate, cherry, nice cocoa. Almost a cherry cola note, but not that sweetly confected. Refreshing.

From Nine To Noon

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