• Ben Churchill

Chicken Liver Parfait Dessert

This dessert came to me when I was developing my simple parfait recipe. Traditionally, a parfait is known as a savoury dish, a type of pate, usually made from liver. This got me thinking. What if I made a sweet parfait, disguised as a chicken liver one, served and eaten in the same way? Bringing out a ‘chicken liver’ parfait for the dessert course would certainly get some confused looks. Especially if it’s served with what appears to be a sliced loaf of rustic bread. But it’s only when you pick up a slice, realise it weighs and feels like a biscuit (biscotti to be precise) and you open the kilner jar that holds the ‘pate’, to discover its freezing cold. You realise the clarified butter on top is behaving more like a ganache, and when you break through you release that aroma of blackberries. It all makes sense now. It is indeed a parfait, but a dessert one. You spread some onto a biscotti, take a bite, and smile.

I recommend using two 200ml kilner jars to serve this dessert.

Makes enough to feed 4 people sharing.



For the parfait:

50g blackberries, pureed

50g double cream, whipped thick

20g water

100g caster sugar

4 egg yolks

For the biscotti:

350g plain flour

8g baking powder

250g caster sugar

3 eggs

To garnish:

40g double cream

80g white chocolate


We’ll start off making the parfait as this needs to freeze overnight. Start off by whisking the egg yolks in a stand mixer on medium speed. As soon as you start, put the sugar and water into a saucepan and heat to 110 degrees c. remove from the heat and slowly pour onto your whisking yolks in a slow trickle. Keep your mixer whisking constantly until the mixture has cooled and thickened dramatically, similar to Italian meringue. It should have grown in volume as well. Carefully fold in the whipped double cream and pureed blackberries. Divide the parfait between your kilner jars and freeze overnight.

Next to make the biscotti. Turn on your fan oven to 150 degrees c. In a stand mixer briefly mix the flour and baking powder so you have an even distribution. Next add in the sugar and eggs and beat until smooth. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple minutes, just like bread dough, until smooth. shape into a long oval loaf roughly 13 inches by 4 inches, and maximum 1 inch thick. Dust all over with flour and score the top as you would for bread. Either a few slashes across the top or one long one down the side. Carefully place on a parchment lined tray and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 140 degrees c and open the oven door. Leave open for a couple of minutes to bring the heat down a bit. Close the door and bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Turn the oven down to 120 degrees c. Your biscotti should have risen and look a bit like a pale loaf. Leave to cool down a bit, just cool enough for you to handle and then cut into slices about as thick as your thumb. Lay these slices flat on your parchment lined tray and return to the 120 degree c oven for 30 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Leave to cool and then store in an airtight container until needed.

The next day

All you need to do today is make your ganache and you’re set! Heat the cream and white chocolate together in a pan until melted and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and leave to cool, but not so it starts to harden. When cool enough remove your parfait from the freezer and carefully pipe an even layer on top of each, to emulate the butter usually poured on top of a parfait. Return to the freezer for a few hours to firm up.

Your parfait is now ready to serve. Just make sure you serve straight away as it’ll start to melt as soon as you remove from the freezer. To eat, as mentioned, spread some parfait onto a slice of biscotti and eat, as you would pate.


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