Choc Mint Alaskan Slice

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By Darren Purchese

This recipe is based on the frozen dessert classic, ‘Viennetta’, which was a fun and delicious retro dessert from back in the day. The recipe is well worth the perseverance as there are a few steps. You can spread the workload over a few days, so it is not so daunting. We have made a rectangle shaped slice here, but really any shape that works with the mould you have is good. There is no right or wrong!  You could do a bombe or frozen entremet style. Give this a go and you won’t regret it, it’s delicious and fun!

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COMPONENTS

 Chocolate Flake
 Cocoa Shortbread
 Frozen Mint Parfait
 Italian Meringue

CHOCOLATE FLAKE

250g dark chocolate 58%, tempered

COCOA SHORTBREAD

110g unsalted butter, softened
50g icing sugar
1 salt
80g plain flour
15g cornflour
15g cocoa powder

FROZEN MINT PARFAIT

4g gelatine leaves
240g egg yolks (approx. 12-13 yolks)
200 ml water
750 ml cream, thickened
2 drops mint essence or oil

ITALIAN MERINGUE

140g egg white (approx. 4-5 whites)
200g caster sugar
150 ml water
1

For the chocolate flake… Pour the tempered dark chocolate onto a flat work surface and spread flat using a palette knife. Once the chocolate has set, take a flexible metal scraper and start to push the edge into the now set chocolate to form rolls or curls in the chocolate. Repeat until you have scraped up all of the chocolate into fine flake pieces. Allow them to set on the work surface for 10 minutes before picking them up with the end of the scraper and storing them in a sealed plastic container until needed. These can be made way in advance of when you need them.

See 'tempered chocolate' for more information on this and other chocolate components and garnishes.

 

2

For the shortbread… Preheat the oven to 165ºC (325ºF) and line a standard baking tray with baking paper. Sieve together the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder together into a bowl and set aside. Add the butter and salt into a separate mixing bowl and sieve in the icing sugar to eliminate any lumps. Use a spatula to smooth the butter and sugar together. Work vigorously until you have a smooth and pale paste. Add the sieved ingredients and work together to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a workbench and knead briefly to bring everything together. Wrap the dough in baking paper and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest and chill. Roll the chilled dough in between two pieces of baking paper, into a rough rectangle approx. 1 cm thick. Place into the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and then remove the top sheet of paper. Invert the paste onto the lined baking tray and remove the top piece of baking paper. Bake the shortbread for 10 minutes before opening the oven and turning the tray around. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until baked to a firm biscuit. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for ten minutes. Lift the shortbread using the edges of the paper onto a workbench and use a sharp cook’s knife to cut bars of the shortbread with the approximate dimensions of 20 cm X 2 cm. You will need around seven or eight bars to assemble the parfait. Leave to cool and reserve for assembly.

 

3

For the frozen mint parfait… Soak the gelatine leaves in iced cold water for a few minutes to soften, drain and discard the water and squeeze the excess from the soaked gelatine. Set the soaked gelatine aside.

Add the yolks to a bowl of a stand mixer and start to whisk on high speed. Place the sugar into a saucepan with the water and stir gently. Place over a medium heat and stir the syrup to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Cook the syrup to 121°C using a sugar or digital thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Slowly pour the syrup into bowl of whisking egg yolks from the side, add the soaked gelatine to the still hot saucepan and swirl to melt before adding to the bowl and whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled. The mix should be pale and thick in volume. Remove from the machine and fold in the whipped cream and mint essence to taste.

 

4

To assemble the parfait… Spray the inside of a 28 cm X 13 cm X 6.5 cm loaf tin with canola spray and line it with cling film. Smooth out any wrinkles and ensure it overlaps the tin. This will ensure you have a smooth frozen slice that is easy to remove from the tin once frozen. Place some dark chocolate shavings into the prepared mould and pour in one third of the parfait. Arrange some pieces of chocolate flake inside lengthways, followed by a few sticks of shortbread.

 

5

Add another third of the parfait and again some pieces of flake and shortbread, before pouring the remainder of the parfait into the tin. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours but preferably overnight.

 

6

To demould the parfait… gently warm the sides of the tin with your hands and pull the cling film out. Remove the parfait and invert it onto a tray or chopping board, remove the cling film and store in the freezer until ready to finish.

 

7

To make the Italian meringue… Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat. At the same time add the whites to a bowl of a stand mixer and start to whisk slowly. Cook the syrup to a boil then continue cooking to 112°C before turning up the mixing machine to medium high.

 

8

Continue cooking the syrup using a digital or sugar thermometer to accurately check the temperature. At 121°C remove the pan from the heat and slowly trickle the syrup into the whisking bowl ensure it goes down the side of the bowl and does not hit the whisk. Once all of the syrup is in, whisk the meringue on high for 10 minutes to cool. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Set aside to finish the parfait.

 

9

To finish and serve… Remove the parfait from the freezer and use a palette knife or spatula to spread the meringue over the entire parfait as shown. Transfer to a serving dish if needed and use a blowtorch to lightly glaze the meringue all over. Serve with a knife for cutting.

 

 

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the chocolate flake… Pour the tempered dark chocolate onto a flat work surface and spread flat using a palette knife. Once the chocolate has set, take a flexible metal scraper and start to push the edge into the now set chocolate to form rolls or curls in the chocolate. Repeat until you have scraped up all of the chocolate into fine flake pieces. Allow them to set on the work surface for 10 minutes before picking them up with the end of the scraper and storing them in a sealed plastic container until needed. These can be made way in advance of when you need them.

See 'tempered chocolate' for more information on this and other chocolate components and garnishes.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the shortbread… Preheat the oven to 165ºC (325ºF) and line a standard baking tray with baking paper. Sieve together the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder together into a bowl and set aside. Add the butter and salt into a separate mixing bowl and sieve in the icing sugar to eliminate any lumps. Use a spatula to smooth the butter and sugar together. Work vigorously until you have a smooth and pale paste. Add the sieved ingredients and work together to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a workbench and knead briefly to bring everything together. Wrap the dough in baking paper and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest and chill. Roll the chilled dough in between two pieces of baking paper, into a rough rectangle approx. 1 cm thick. Place into the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and then remove the top sheet of paper. Invert the paste onto the lined baking tray and remove the top piece of baking paper. Bake the shortbread for 10 minutes before opening the oven and turning the tray around. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until baked to a firm biscuit. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for ten minutes. Lift the shortbread using the edges of the paper onto a workbench and use a sharp cook’s knife to cut bars of the shortbread with the approximate dimensions of 20 cm X 2 cm. You will need around seven or eight bars to assemble the parfait. Leave to cool and reserve for assembly.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For the frozen mint parfait… Soak the gelatine leaves in iced cold water for a few minutes to soften, drain and discard the water and squeeze the excess from the soaked gelatine. Set the soaked gelatine aside.

Add the yolks to a bowl of a stand mixer and start to whisk on high speed. Place the sugar into a saucepan with the water and stir gently. Place over a medium heat and stir the syrup to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Cook the syrup to 121°C using a sugar or digital thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Slowly pour the syrup into bowl of whisking egg yolks from the side, add the soaked gelatine to the still hot saucepan and swirl to melt before adding to the bowl and whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled. The mix should be pale and thick in volume. Remove from the machine and fold in the whipped cream and mint essence to taste.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To assemble the parfait… Spray the inside of a 28 cm X 13 cm X 6.5 cm loaf tin with canola spray and line it with cling film. Smooth out any wrinkles and ensure it overlaps the tin. This will ensure you have a smooth frozen slice that is easy to remove from the tin once frozen. Place some dark chocolate shavings into the prepared mould and pour in one third of the parfait. Arrange some pieces of chocolate flake inside lengthways, followed by a few sticks of shortbread.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

Add another third of the parfait and again some pieces of flake and shortbread, before pouring the remainder of the parfait into the tin. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours but preferably overnight.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To demould the parfait… gently warm the sides of the tin with your hands and pull the cling film out. Remove the parfait and invert it onto a tray or chopping board, remove the cling film and store in the freezer until ready to finish.

7
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the Italian meringue… Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat. At the same time add the whites to a bowl of a stand mixer and start to whisk slowly. Cook the syrup to a boil then continue cooking to 112°C before turning up the mixing machine to medium high.

8
0 hours 0 minutes

Continue cooking the syrup using a digital or sugar thermometer to accurately check the temperature. At 121°C remove the pan from the heat and slowly trickle the syrup into the whisking bowl ensure it goes down the side of the bowl and does not hit the whisk. Once all of the syrup is in, whisk the meringue on high for 10 minutes to cool. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Set aside to finish the parfait.

9
0 hours 0 minutes

To finish and serve… Remove the parfait from the freezer and use a palette knife or spatula to spread the meringue over the entire parfait as shown. Transfer to a serving dish if needed and use a blowtorch to lightly glaze the meringue all over. Serve with a knife for cutting.