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Chocolate and Chestnut Parfait

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Serves: 6-8

150g / 5 oz amaretti biscuits, coarsely crushed
4 tbsp brandy
225g / 8 oz sweetened chestnut puree
100g / 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
450ml / 3/4 pint double cream

For the coating:
100g / 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate
3 tbsp double cream

For the decoration:
50g / 2 oz dark chocolate
vegetable oil, for greasing
icing sugar, for dusting


Mix together the amaretti biscuits and brandy in a bowl and leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes until the brandy has soaked into the biscuits. Stir in the chestnut puree and the chopped chocolate.

Whip the double cream until it is stiff, then fold it into the chestnut mixture. Rinse a 900ml / 1 1/2 pint pudding basin with cold water - but don't dry it - and fill with the chestnut cream. Freeze for 12 hours or overnight, until firm.

Break up the chocolate for the coating and set in a small bowl with the cream over a pan of hot water, stirring gently until it forms a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Dip the parfait quickly into hot water, then turn out on a plate. Spread quickly with the chocolate coating, swirling it over the top and sides. Return to the freezer until it is firm.

Break up the chocolate for the decoration and place in a bowl set over a pan of hot water until melted. Spread over a board lined with lightly oiled foil and leave until just set. Cut out star shapes using a cutter or sharp knife; lift off using a palette knife.

Half an hour before serving, remove the parfait from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge to allow it to soften. Just before serving, stick the chocolate stars into the top of the parfait and then dust lightly with icing sugar.

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