I had the incredible opportunity yesterday of spending four deliciously exciting hours with a dedicated professional food stylist and photographer. He shook my hand with a firm and honest grip, introducing himself as Steve. With the last lunch patrons filtering out the door, we plated up dish after dish of perfection and beauty for this mysterious man. Creeping up behind him with the last dessert in hand, I peered over his shoulder at his laptop and wow was I in awe! Food is supposed to be one of the more difficult subjects to photograph (or so I read) and this guy! Everything looked so incredible on screen. I bet he could make a blowfish wearing a rubber ring look sexy!
And for the record, when my beloved Steve told me how awesome my parfait looked and my face happened to be a little red, I was NOT gushing! It just happened to be a fairly hot winter's day.
Moving on, for the lucky readers of Mike's Table this is the recipe for the coffee & turrón parfait. The dish which I can proudly say that I refined from a daggy pile of shit (no offence chef) to the beauty which you now behold. If you're wondering, as pictured, it's plated with an almond praline tuile, Pedro Ximènez caramel and iced chestnut sorbet (a recipe which I'm still perfecting). Also the turrón we use comes straight from Spain and it's called '1880 Turrón de Alicante'.
Coffee & Turrón Parfait
180 g castor sugarCombine sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer.
50 ml water
150 g egg whites
260 g cream
50 ml espresso, room temp
300 g almond turrón, finely chopped
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks in an electric mixer.
Bring sugar syrup to 120ºC and slowly pour into egg whites with mixer still working.
Keep beating meringue until it cools (about 10 minutes).
Whisk cream in a large bowl until it forms medium peaks.
Combine cream with espresso and half meringue and whisk until incorporated.
Add turrón and remaining meringue and fold through with a large spatula.
Pour into a sprayed and lined tin and set in freezer overnight.