Triple-Layered Vanilla, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Parfait

September 27, 2010


Try saying that tongue-twister name 10 times in a row…fast! I tried. And I failed.

Hi, I’m Karen and I have nothing else to do…

…except to satiate the sweet tooth! And this dessert – or rather, an excuse to abuse yourself silly with sugar – ticks all my boxes. Self-gratifying, yes. Over-the-top, yes. Excessive, heck yeah. And I like it that way.


Taking three of my favourite flavours – vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter – and putting them in a frozen parfait ménage à trois is my idea of self-indulgence. The reason for a parfait instead of an ice cream was because I couldn’t be bothered making three custard bases, chilling them all overnight and churning each of them separately. I only have one ice cream maker with one tiny bowl. Weep for me people! Parfaits and semifreddos are brilliant for those sans ice cream maker and there’s no need to make the hot custard base so you can enjoy them sooner. Just whip the egg yolks, add sugar syrup, fold with whipped cream and flavouring, freeze and et voila!

I made the one parfait base for both the chocolate and peanut butter and a separate one for the vanilla, just so I could fleck the base with a galaxy of beautiful vanilla beans. It’s a little more dense and creamy than an ice cream or semi-freddo but that adds to the calorific richness. I’m definitely not a model of healthy eating if I get in one of those moods.


And just because I’m not abused enough, I simply had to add a chocolate sauce made simply by thickened cream and chocolate melted together. And if you know me and this blog, there’s only one thing I love to do with said sauce… pour, baby, pour!

Hi, I’m Karen and I am a shameful food pornographer.



For the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Parfait 


Mousse Base

5 egg yolks
100ml water
150g caster sugar

150g dark chocolate (around 60% cocoa content), chopped
100g smooth peanut butter
300ml double cream or thickened cream

For the Vanilla Parfait

3 egg yolks
50ml water
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
150ml double cream or thickened cream

Note – Because there’s no need to heat cream and therefore no opportunity to steep a vanilla bean, I chose to use extract and paste instead.



Place water in a saucepan and pour the sugar in the middle of the water. Over low heat, stir until sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil and cook for 7-10 minutes until slightly syrupy or 110°C on a sugar thermometer.

Meanwhile, when the sugar and water has boiled, start whipping your egg yolks so it pales and thickens. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches the temperature, take it off the heat, and while continuously whisking, slowly trickle the hot syrup on the side of the bowl so that it runs down slowly into the egg yolks as it is whisking. Be careful not to let any sugar syrup hit the beaters/whisk as it’s whisking otherwise you’ll be hit by molten projectiles of sugar.

When you’ve finished pouring, continue whisking for at least 5 minutes until the bowl is no longer hot and the egg mix is thickened and aerated. Set aside.

In two separate heatproof bowls over pots of gently simmer watering, melt the chocolate and peanut butter separately until melted and smooth. Take off the bain marie and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Divide the mousse base between the melted peanut butter and chocolate. Fold each one until combined and place in the fridge to cool.

Whip up the double cream until soft peaks. Divide the cream amongst the two cooled mousse bases and fold until combined. Line a large loaf tin with glad wrap and pour in the peanut butter parfait, level and freeze for at least a couple of hours. Place the chocolate parfait in the fridge in the meantime.

After it has mostly frozen, layer on the chocolate layer on top of the peanut butter, level and freeze again.

While the PB and chocolate parfaits are freezing, make the vanilla parfait in exactly the same method (adding the vanilla extract and paste to the egg yolks and whisking altogether before adding the sugar syrup, cooling and folding with whipped double cream).

Layer the vanilla on top of the chocolate, level and whack it back in the freezer again.

When ready, unmould from the tin onto a plate and place back in the freezer. When ready, slice with a hot knife to serve.

Print this recipe!

Recipe adapted on a basic parfait recipe by Gordon Ramsay.