Orange Custard Parfaits

The name ‘parfait’ always makes me chuckle a bit because it means ‘perfect’ in French. So now every time I say “c’est parfait!”, I think of this:
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Anyway, it is now Autumn down in the Southern Hemisphere, for us in NZ. It certainly is beginning to feel like it! This dessert reminds me of it, the colours and the tastes (quite delicious by the way, although don’t go overboard with the orange zest on top or you won’t be able to taste other flavours).

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We had an Italian over for lunch (hence the Italian books in the background, we were showing him what we had always wanted to make and hadn’t), so I thought I would make something light and special for afterwards. It doesn’t take that long to make, I made it while he was stirring a delicious risotto in the kitchen!  I let people choose if they wanted white chocolate or dark chocolate on top, because we all have preferences…… haha I can imagine some of your rolling your eyes at that. Bakers are too often the victim of chocolate-debates, including ‘White chocolate isn’t real chocolate!’.

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But if they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it.

Don’t be alarmed by the components in this recipe, it’s all small batches and you have no egg whites or yolks leftover!
Here is the recipe 🙂

Orange Custard Parfaits

Ingredients:
Meringues:
2 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
100g castor sugar
Custard:
400mls milk
Orange zest
100g sugar
2 eggs
55g cornflour
100ml fresh orange juice
To serve:
100mls whipping cream
Chopped white and dark chocolate
Orange zest

Instructions:
Start with the meringue! Line a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a super clean glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until bubbly, then add the cream of tartar. Whip faster, and add the sugar a bit at a time, whipping until glossy between each addition. When all the sugar is added, continue to whip until the mixture is thick and at stiff peak stage. Spoon onto the tray into about golfball sized blobs. TURN DOWN THE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 120 degrees Celsius and bake the meringues until crusty, about 30 minutes. Cool on the tray.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Heat the milk and the orange zest over low heat until boiling, and in another bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and cornflour until thick and light/pale. When the milk has boiled, mix the milk slowly into the egg mixture until combined, then pour back into the saucepan and stir continuously over low heat. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that the custard doesn’t catch. When nice and thick, take off the heat and mix in the orange juice a bit at a time. Cool.
When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Pick out your serving bowls or glasses, between 6 and 8 of them. Start with spooning the custard into the bottom, then crumble over some meringue. Spoon over some cream, then top off with the chopped chocolate and a tad of orange zest. Done!

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