For the Parfait: 24 hours before serving.
Line a loaf tin (10x20cm) with baking paper (grease the tin with an oil spray before lining)
Put the caster sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Boil briskly for 3 minutes and then take off the heat.
Add the chocolate pieces to the syrup and stir until smooth. Add the cocoa and stir to combine.
Whisk the egg yolks until pale. Slowly add the hot chocolate mixture to the egg yolks, continue beating until the mixture has cooled slightly.
Add the brandy and whisk in the mascarpone, continue whisking till the mascarpone has been completely incorporated.
Pour into lined tin and freeze overnight.
For the Pecan Crumbs:
Note: if you are in a rush, you can always use some finely processed store-bought peanut brittle instead of the Pecan Crumbs
Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly spray with an oil spray.
Roughly chop the pecans in a food-processor and scatter the nuts over the baking tray.
Put the caster sugar into a saucepan over a low heat and cook slowly until it turns a light toffee colour.
Quickly remove the toffee from the heat and pour over the pecans. Make sure all the pecans get caught in the toffee.
Allow to cool completely. Remove from the baking tray and make sure no paper is stuck to the toffee. Break up into small pieces and process to a fine “dust.” Store in an airtight container.
About 15 minutes before serving, remove the parfait from the freezer. Turn out of the loaf tin and sprinkle liberally with the pecan crumbs.
Using your sharpest knife, slice the parfait into 1cm slices. Serve with some whipped cream and fresh berries or a coulis, especially good with raspberries.
Recipe reprinted with permission of The Muddled Pantry. To see more recipes, click here.