For the espresso parfait

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 62,5ml castor sugar
  • 15ml instant coffee powder
  • 10ml hot water
  • 25ml kahlua liqueur
  • 250ml cream, whipped

For the soil: DAY 1

  • 175g cake flour
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 50g hazelnuts, ground
  • 25g white sugar
  • 75g beer

For the soil: DAY 2

  • 40g cake flour
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 10g coffee powder
  • 50g hazelnuts, ground
  • 4g salt
  • 60g salted butter, melted

For the cocoa branches

  • 140g sugar syrup
  • 20g glucose syrup
  • 60g cocoa powder

For the lady finger biscuits

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 30ml white sugar
  • 2.5ml vanilla extract
  • 125ml cake flour
  • 1ml cream of tartar
  • 45ml white sugar
  • Castor sugar, for dusting

For the sugar brittle

  • 300g white sugar
  • 3g cocoa powder

For the cocoa sorbet

  • 700ml water
  • 192g white sugar
  • 90g cocoa powder


  • 30ml maple syrup
  • 30ml Kahlua liqueur
  • 60ml mascarpone cheese
  • 45g dark chocolate, cut into chunks (3 chunks per dish)
  • 1cup freshly brewed espresso
  • Baby nasturtium leaves


To make the espresso parfait

  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Dissolve the coffee powder into the hot water and combine with the Kahlua liqueur. Add this to the egg-sugar mixture.
  • Fold the whipped cream into this mixture.
  • Divide the espresso parfait between 6 ramekins, creating a smooth, even layer at the bottom of the ramekin.
  • Place this into the freezer until hard.
  • To make the soil


  • Pulverise all the dry ingredients together in a blender for 5 seconds.
  • Add the beer.
  • Place onto a sheet of grease proof paper and dry out in the oven at 90°C for 4 hours.


  • Pulverise all the dry ingredients together in a blender for 5 seconds.
  • Add the melted butter and the DAY 1 mixture, using your fingertips mix everything together forming small crumbs.
  • Place on a sheet of grease proof paper and dry out in the oven at 90°C overnight, try and mix the mixture around every few hours.
  • When the mixture is feeling dry, blend for a few seconds to make a powder form.
  • Store in an airtight sterilised container.

To make the cocoa branches

  • Make a sugar syrup (equal parts of white sugar and water). Place this into a small pot, stirring continuously until all the sugar crystals are dissolved. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Measure out the right amount, combine with the glucose syrup and the cocoa powder.
  • Place this into a small paper piping bag and cut open a very small hole at the tip, to pipe. Pipe small tree branches onto grease proof paper.
  • Bake in the oven at 160°C for about 2 minutes until crisp.
  • When cooked allow to cool on the baking paper and then carefully remove them using a palette knife.

To make the lady finger biscuits

  • Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the 30ml white sugar very well together, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  • Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Sift the flour over the mixture and combine well.
  • In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peak.
  • Add the cream of tartar and whisk together.
  • Gradually add the 45ml white sugar and whisk until stiff peak and the mixture is glossy.
  • Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture a little at a time without over mixing.
  • Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into about 7.5cm long lady fingers. Leave some space between the lady fingers.
  • Sift the castor sugar over the lady fingers and place them into the oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes, until cooked but still a little spongy.
  • Allow them to slightly cool on the baking tray, then remove them carefully and place on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. You will find you will only probably use half of the amount of biscuits for 6 people.

To make the sugar brittle

  • Place the sugar and cocoa powder into a pan over a medium heat, do not stir – just allow slow even melting by tipping and turning your pan to get even heat.
  • Pour the melted sugar and cocoa onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, allow to get hard and set.
  • When hard, pulverise the hard sugar in a blender to form a fine powder.
  • Sift this over a silicone mat, making quite a thick layer of powder.
  • Place immediately into an oven at 180°C for about 5 minutes, remove from the oven and allow the sugar to get hard. When hard use a palette knife to lift the sugar brittle carefully off of the mat. This will have to be used as soon as possible.

To make the cocoa sorbet

  • Place all the ingredients in a pot. Heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. If an ice-cream machine is not available, put chilled mixture into the freezer. Whisk every 30-45 minutes until frozen to create a light, fluffy sorbet.

Putting the dish together

  • When ready to serve and the espresso parfait is frozen hard, sprinkle the soil over the base, to coat the espresso parfait.
  • Place 3 blobs of mascarpone cheese into each serving dish. Stick 2 branches into each mascarpone blob.
  • Drizzle over 5ml of maple syrup and 5ml of Kahlua liqueur.
  • Place 3 chunks of chocolate into each dish.
  • Roughly break the lady finger biscuits, place 5 broken pieces into each dish. Store the left-over biscuits in an airtight container.
  • Break the sugar brittle into pieces, placing 3 pieces into each dish, allowing them to stand high and straight up.
  • Roll 3 small parisienne scoops/melon balls of cocoa sorbet for each dish.
  • Lastly garnish with the nasturtium leaves.
  • When serving the dessert, drizzle over about 15ml of hot espresso. This can be done at the table in front of your guests.

This recipe serves 6 people