Friday, July 29, 2011

Ivory Monkey Parfait

I am sure you are wondering what this Ivory Monkey is.  It is a pudding parfait that is made up of vanilla rum pudding, roasted bananas with cashews, shortbread cookies and caramel.

The pudding is enough for about 6 parfaits that probably only hold a little over 1/2 cup, filled to the top.  As an alternative, this can always be made in a big trifle dish.  The only ingredient that I had extra of was the cookies.  The exact yield is hard to place because people have their own preferences on how thick and how many layers they want in the individual serving.

As you go through this recipe, consider the versatility of the layers, they do not have to be used in a parfait.  The cashew bananas are great on ice cream as well as the banana whipped cream.  The pudding is great all alone or with some crunched up shortbread cookies on top.  I am sure you can come up with your own creative combination. Note that the pudding has to be prepared a day in advance.

Ivory Monkey Parfait
by flourtrader

3 beaten egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vanilla rum
1/2 tsp ground vanilla beans
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup and 3 tbs of sugar
2 tbs cold water
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin

Cashew shortbread or regular shortbread cookies (I used Keebler brand of Sandies)
Caramel ice cream topping (12 oz)
4  bananas
1 1/2 tsp water
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2 tbs confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

The day before serving, make your pudding.  Put 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl then sprinkle over the gelatin powder and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy.  This should take about 3 minutes. Pour the milk into another bowl and cover.  Then heat in microwave about 30 seconds.

Pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.  Repeat process until all the milk is blended into the batter.  Then fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with water and let it come to a boil. Place the top pan over the bottom and pour in the batter.  Let cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the gelatin mixture and stir until it is dissolved and remove pan from heat.  Set aside to cool.

Beat the whipping cream in a bowl until soft peaks form and fold into cooled batter.  Lastly, add the rum and ground vanilla beans, stirring until well blended.  Cover bowl and place in fridge overnight to set up.

The next day you will make the layers.  Peel three of the bananas and slice into rounds between 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Fill a saucepan with 1 1/2 tsp of water and place over medium high heat.  Place banana pieces in pan, spacing apart.  Cover pan and let the bananas steam cook for 1 minute.  Uncover and drain pan.

Melt the two tablespoons of butter and place in a shallow bowl.  Place the chopped cashews in another, setting it beside the bowl of butter.  Then take a baking sheet and line with foil.

Handling each banana piece lightly, dip into the butter and roll in the chopped cashews.  Place on the prepared baking sheet, making sure none are overlapping or touching.  Bake bananas in oven for 5-6 minutes on each side. You want all the cashews on the banana pieces to be toasted.  Remove pan from oven and let bananas remain on pan to cool.

For the whipped cream, place the remaining banana in the food processor and puree.  In another bowl, combine vanilla extract, confectioners sugar and heavy cream together.  Beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Then fold in the banana puree.

Take several cookies and break them up into small crumbs and place in a separate bowl.

Now you are ready to assemble your parfait.  I used a layer of pudding between each item.  It went like this (from bottom to top): pudding, caramel, pudding, cookie crumbs, pudding and cashew coated bananas.  Lastly, I spooned the whip cream on top and sprinkled it with cookie crumbs. Then it was ready to be served. 

The assembly is where personal preference comes in as to how big your parfait will be, how thick the layers will be and how many layers you will have.  Either way, this is a wonderful banana rum treat.  Enjoy!