White Christmas parfait

Evocative: This parfait is a mix of childhood and adult flavours.
Evocative: This parfait is a mix of childhood and adult flavours. Photo: William Meppem

This pudding - in the grand tradition of Australian iced Christmas desserts - can be made a week ahead, sliced straight from frozen, and gets an evocative mix of childhood and adult flavours bang-on.

Ingredients

15g Copha or coconut oil

100g white chocolate

100g glace cherries, halved

25g desiccated coconut

25g Rice Bubbles

Rum and raisin mixture

3 egg yolks (from 60g eggs)

50g castor sugar

300ml double cream

50ml rum

100g raisins

Meringue

3 egg whites

75g castor sugar

Method

1. To make the White Christmas, melt the copha or coconut oil with the chocolate, then stir in the cherries, coconut and Rice Bubbles. Pack this into a small container lined with non-stick paper and freeze so it forms a slab you can chop up.

2. For the rum and raisin mixture, beat the yolks and sugar until smooth. Boil the cream in a saucepan then pour half over the yolks and whisk well. Pour this mixture back in with the cream and whisk until almost boiling. Immediately pour the custard back into the bowl, whisk again for a moment to reduce the heat then mix in the rum and raisins. Leave this to cool then chill.

3. To assemble, line the inside of a one-litre pudding basin with a sheet of non-stick paper and set aside. Have another mixing bowl ready and an electric whisk (hand-held is easiest here). Stir the egg whites and sugar in a saucepan over a moderate heat until piping hot and opalescent. Then immediately scrape the whites into the mixing bowl and beat while hot, on a high speed, until a soft, slightly liquid meringue is formed. Fold this gently through the custard. Cut the White Christmas into small pieces and stir these in. Pour the mixture into the lined basin and freeze for 24 hours.

4. To serve, simply upturn, peel off the paper and cut into wedges as it freezes with the texture of soft ice-cream.

Tips

If you want to leave the alcohol out, just replace it with a few teaspoons of vanilla extract, though the parfait will freeze firmer without the rum.

It is wooingly sweet so I have a bowl of berries at hand to spoon over for serving.