Yield: 6 servings
At the inns, we occasionally host luncheon meetings or garden parties for community groups or guests. This ethereal dessert is an intriguing gustatory surprise that is becoming an often requested favorite.
The instructions for this dessert are deceptively simple, but when cooking with sugar on direct heat, it can quickly turn ugly. To ensure success, be sure to follow the directions exactly, avoiding the temptation to stir the sugar syrup. It’s also important that you allow the mixtures to cool before blending them so the whipped cream doesn’t break down.
1¼ teaspoon powdered gelatin
8 Tablespoons cool water, divided
1 cup sugar
2¾ cups heavy cream, divided
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons rock sea salt or to taste
1. Bloom the gelatin: sprinkle powdered gelatin into 2 Tablespoons of cool water. Allow it to sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Mix sugar and 6 Tablespoons of water in a medium size sauce pan. Place over medium heat until it begins to turn from a pale amber to rich caramel color, approximately 8 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat as the sugar will continue to darken as it cools. Important note: do not stir the mixture once it’s on the heat; just let it heat to the proper color. If you need to stir in some sugar crystals that have accumulated on the sides of the pan, gently swirl the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly but do not stir.
3. Slowly whisk ¾ cup heavy cream into the caramel, as the caramel will tend to bubble up as you add the cream. Set aside to cool.
4. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.
5. Whisk gelatin into warm caramel.
6. Gently fold caramel into heavy cream.
7. Divide equally into 6 parfait cups and refrigerate until ready to serve.
8. Garnish with sea salt prior to serving.
Source: Harrison House Suites, Friday Harbor WA