The Musette: coffee parfait

This recipe is born out of the amazing sabayon base but don’t be afraid – it’s not as hard as it sounds! A classic sabayon is simply egg yolks and sugar whisked over a bain marie until mousse-like in texture. It is then cooled very quickly in a bowl with ice before whipped cream is folded into it to create a luxurious creaminess. Then all you have to do is freeze your sabayon. Here, I have used coffee to flavour it but you can use any flavour you want, such as citrus or caramel. It can even be prepared up to a week in advance so it’s an easy dessert for Christmas day if you have guests who don’t like Christmas pudding!



  • 4 medium, organic egg yolks
  • 50g (1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) sweet dessert or fortified wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150ml (2/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) espresso coffee 


  • 80g (1 1/3 cup) chopped hazelnuts
  • 30g (1/4 cup) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 10ml (1 tbsp) brandy or cognac (optional)

caramel sauce:

  • 100ml (7 tbsp) water
  • 150g (3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2g (3/4 tsp) arrowroot, diluted in a little water

to finish:

  • 150ml (2/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 30g (1/8 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste


1.To make the sabayon whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar, wine and lemon juice together for 1 minute in a heat-proof bowl.

Sabayon - David Lebovitz

2. Stand the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. This is called a bain-marie. (Make sure the bowl is not in direct contact with the water or the eggs will scramble.)

3. Whisk for 7–8 minutes until it reaches 78°C, resulting in a light fluffy sabayon.

Recette - Sabayon en vidéo -

4. Remove the bowl from the heat and place it over a larger bowl of crushed ice. Continue to whisk until the sabayon is cold.

Rhubarb, Ginger & Orange Sabayon - La Villa de Mazamet

5. In another bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks and then fold it into the cold sabayon – make sure the sabayon is fully cold because even a slight bit of warmth will split the sabayon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

How to make dairy-free coffee whipped cream | SBS Food

6. In a large bowl, fold the cold sabayon and coffee together. Fill a mould or moulds with the sabayon, smooth the top and freeze overnight.

7. For the garnish you can use whatever mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or spices goes with the flavour of the parfait:-
Nuts – brazil, pecan, walnut, hazelnut
Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, sesame
Dried Fruits – cranberry, blueberry, raisin, golden sultanas
Spices – cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, all spice, mace

or even just plain cocoa powder!

8. Mix all the garnish ingredients together, lay on a baking tray and cook for 7 minutes at 180ºC/375 ºF until lightly golden and crunchy.

How to make candied nuts

9. To make the caramel sauce bring 20g water and sugar to the boil and cook to a dark golden caramel. Add the remaining water to stop the cooking. Mix in the diluted arrowroot to thicken the caramel sauce. Cool down.

Homemade Caramel Sauce - Haniela's

10. Taking the caramel to a dark golden brown is important; it will reduce the sweetness and give a better caramel flavour. If the caramel is too light or blond it will be far too sweet and devalue the dish.

11. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla to make a crème Chantilly. Fill a ridge-nozzled piping bag with the cream.

12. Dip the parfait mould in hot water for four to five seconds and, using the point of a knife, pull the iced parfait onto a cutting board and pipe the whipped cream over the parfait. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes to set the cream.

Iced coffee parfait recipe - Raymond Blanc OBE

13 To serve:  using the blade of a hot knife, slice the parfait and arrange in the middle of a cold plate. Drizzle the caramel sauce around and sprinkle with the toasted pistachios and almonds.

Iced Coffee Parfait with Pistachio and Almond garnish and Caramel Sauce | Social:Fife

25 Comments on “The Musette: coffee parfait

  1. This looks good but too much work. Next time you’re in New Orleans stop by my house and make it for me. Also, I was on a special diet once and they said if you are going to eat only one thing organic, make it eggs. They were big on ONLY using organic eggs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! That looks REALLY good! My daughter loves to make these types of things, I bet she’d enjoy the challenge! Thanks for the recipe, Sheree. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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