Imagine, if you will, a poor princess separated from her family and grieving her grandfather. She is also possibly ill with something called the PAUPER KILLER (which sounds awful, to be honest). She's sequestered away to a country home, where she is sad and lonely. And then...the door to Nekoyama appears to her!
She has a faint memory of visiting with her grandfather before... she wanders through and orders "clouds," and is promptly presented with a parfait, mounded with whipped cream on top. Surprise! It's the treat she had with her grandfather the last time she came! Back then, she asked him what the whipped cream was and he told her it was clouds. When she returns, she is no longer showing signs of illness. She starts talking with her maids again, picking flowers, and doing other princess stuff. The parfait wrought a stunning transformation!
All in all, a sweet story. Very, very sweet.
And when I saw the episode, the first thing I thought was, "MMMMM, DESSERT."
I don't often get a chance to make desserts on the food blog. I'd say about 3/4th of my recipes focus on savory foods, but I can't lie: Desserts give me life. I love making sweets, and I know for a cold hard fact that you guys like it when I make sweets, so any chance I have to do a dessert, I grab with both hands.
The trouble with parfaits is that they're really finicky, and I always forget this fact until I go to make one – when the chocolate sauce gets all over the inside of the glass, and the ice cream smears everywhere, and it ends up looking like a mess in a glass. A tasty mess, to be sure, but still not totally aesthetically pleasing. To complicate matters further, ice cream and whipped cream MELT, especially in 100°F degree weather, so it's either work fast to get those pictures or settle for a melty ice cream mess. You have to get good at scooping really hard ice cream so that it looks nice and also doesn't melt easily. For me, this was a challenge. I really don't know how professional Japanese chefs can make parfaits look so good. Maybe they assemble these in their restaurant's walk-in freezer to avoid smearing it all over the inside of the glass. Or maybe it's not 100°F in Japan. (Actually, it's so humid and hot there at the moment, I don't know how they manage it either. They probably have better AC than I do.) It wasn't until after I'd finished filming entirely that I remembered I'd made a parfait before, and it hadn't gone well then, either. It's not the prep that's difficult; it's the assembly – if you want it to look pretty.
I had to make this particular parfait three times to get it to look halfway decent (hence the chopsticks for the ice cream). I was trying so hard not to smear it, but it was melting so fast... And that means, since my roommates aren't home, I also had to EAT this parfait three times to make sure it didn't go to waste. Shockingly, as I think about it now, I would probably eat it again. It was that good! The fresh fruit contrasted wonderfully with the ice cream and the chocolate syrup, and the whipped cream on top... I mean, come on. Who doesn't love whipped cream? (Actually, Sarah doesn't, but we don't talk about that.) All in all, an incredibly refreshing dessert, and after slaving away under the hot camera lights I use, I really, really needed something refreshing.
Watch the video below for more details on how to make your own parfaits!
Ingredients for the Princess's Parfait:
To Make the Princess's Parfait:
1. If you're making your own, prepare the whipped cream. Stir together the cream, sugar, and vanilla, and put it into a whipping cream canister, if you have one. Follow canister instructions. If you don't have a canister, use a hand mixer or hand whisk to whip to medium peaks, and place in a piping bag with a star piping tip. You can also just dollop the cream on top, if you don't want to pipe it. Set aside in the fridge.
2. Prepare and set out your fruit so it's ready to go. Set aside the cookies you want to use. Let ice cream soften very slightly on the counter.
3. Start layering. Put brownie bites on the bottom of your parfait glass. Follow this with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Douse with a little bit of chocolate syrup. Then, layer on mango, raspberries, and strawberries. Top with generous amounts of whipped cream. Garnish with banana and cookies. Squirt a little more chocolate sauce over the top of the whipped cream. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the top, and garnish with a mint leaf.
4. And it's done! Enjoy your delicious, PAUPER KILLER curing parfait!