Black Bottom Parfait

These two-tiered chocolate and vanilla parfaits make a mouth-watering dessert for a lunch or dinner party. They are easy to make and most attractive.

2 teaspoons cornflour

16 fl. oz. milk

4 egg yolks

4 oz. plus

1 tablespoon castor sugar

8 oz. dark chocolate, melted in

3 tablespoons dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla essence oz. gelatine

1 fl. oz. boiling water

5 fl. oz. double cream , chilled

2 egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 oz. plain dark chocolate caraque curls

In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, mix the cornflour and the milk together and stirring continuously bring to the boil over moderate heat.

Reduce the heat and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Remove the liquid from the heat and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and 4 ounces of sugar with a whisk until the egg yolks have thickened and become pale yellow. When the milk mixture has cooled, gradually stir the beaten eggs into it. Replace the pan on low heat and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Do not boil or it will curdle.

Pour about half this custard into a medium-sized bowl. Add the melted chocolate and ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence and stir until well blended. Taste the chocolate custard and, if it is not sweet enough, add a little more sugar. Spoon the chocolate custard into 6 parfait or sundae glasses. Put them in the refrigerator to chill.

Put the gelatine in a small saucepan. Add the boiling water and stir over low heat until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Add it, with the remaining vanilla, to the custard in the saucepan.

Pour the cream into a medium-sized bowl and beat it with a whisk or rotary beater until it thickens slightly. Fold this into the custard mixture.

Put the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in a medium-sized bowl and, with a balloon whisk or rotary beater, beat the egg whites until they are foamy.

Gradually add the tablespoon of castor sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff.

With a metal spoon, fold the beaten egg whites into the custard mixture in the saucepan.

Pour this mixture on top of the choco-late custard in the parfait or sundae glasses. Put the glasses back in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

When the parfaits are quite firm, dec-orate the tops with chocolate caraque and serve immediately.

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