Strawberry Parfait with Vanilla Flecked Cream & Mocha Crumble

We had a great time putting this recipe together for In Register Magazine. Make the most of Louisiana strawberry season with this delicious combo of flavors. We love the marriage of dark chocolate, creamy vanilla custard and sweet, syrupy berries. 

Makes 8 Parfaits 

Ingredients for the Crumble:

1 package chocolate wafers (we used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp finely ground coffee (we used Cafeciteaux)

1/3 cup Espresso Sugar

Directions for the Crumble:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate wafers and chocolate chips in a food processor. Pulse 8-10 times or until finely crushed. Move to a bowl. Add in the butter, coffee and Espresso Sugar. Stir to combine. Press the mixture into a pie tin or square baking pan—the type of pan is not important because you’ll be breaking the crust into shards when assembling the parfaits. Bake for 10 minutes. Move to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Ingredients for the Vanilla Flecked Cream:

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp salt

4 egg yolks

2 tsp Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

½ tsp Ground Vanilla Beans

Directions for the Vanilla Flecked Cream:

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk until you see steam forming on the top and just a few bubbles around the edges. Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and yolks until light yellow. The mixture will be a thick paste.

Using a ladle, begin adding the milk in a slow, thin stream to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Ladle in about 1/3 of the milk mixture—this is tempering the egg yolks so that they will not scramble in the cooking process. A great way to know if the yolks are tempered is to use a metal bowl. If the bowl feels warm to the touch, then enough warm milk has been added, and the yolks are tempered. Whisk the mixture back into the milk in the pot and heat the pot over low heat. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly as you wait for bubbles to pop on the surface and for the mixture to thicken. Transfer to a clean bowl. Whisk in the Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract and Ground Vanilla Beans. If there are lumps, press the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream and chill.

Ingredients for the Strawberry Topping:

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced

2 Tbl Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Puree

Directions for the Strawberry Topping:

Place the strawberries, sugar and Vanilla Puree in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow juices to form and a syrup to develop.

To assemble the Parfaits:

Break up the crust into bite-sized pieces. Using individual parfait bowls or stemless wine glasses, place a few pieces of the crust in the bottom of the dishes. Top with a dollop of Vanilla Flecked Cream. Add a spoonful of strawberries, drizzling some of the syrup into each glass.

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