Golden Fields at home (kind of)

Dinner time

On the weekend Gerard and I had dinner at Colin Hill’s place with my best friends and her boyfriend-who-gave-her-diamond, the prominent eurasian, the dentist and C from uni. I was in charge of desserts and was told to bring a surprise that wasn’t boring. Before I get to dessert though I should talk quickly about what other people did because it was all delicious.

Colin Hill hosted and roasted (get it? they rhyme) some pork belly and beef. The pork belly was so good. I’m not sure how he seasoned it because I forgot to ask between bites, I’ll update if he fills me in (Update – it was seasoned with fennel seeds, five spice, cinnamon and salt and pepper as per a recipe here. Beef was with salt, pepper and hot english mustard). He was disappointed with how the crackling turned out but I thought it was great. I can never get crackling to work though so maybe I’m biased.

Meat meat meat

My best friend made a salad which was mega tasty and involved (from memory, anyone who knows better feel free to correct me spinach, lettuce, red onion, carrot, fresh coconut and mango. Update: I’ve been corrected, it also had coriander, basil, lychees and poached chicken with a coconut chilli and ginger dressing. Not sure how I forgot about the chicken, it was the best part.

Mango and coconut salad

Her boyfriend (I’m going to assume assisted by her mum) also made mandarin pancakes. a slice of the pork belly wrapped up in one of these with some hoisin and corriander was perfect. “Better than Chin Chin” was all I heard people saying. I didn’t say anything because I was too busy trying to eat and put together another one at the same time so I wouldn’t have any downtime between pancakes.

Mandarin pancakes

Woo! Ok, we’re back to dessert. I’m normally a cake baker but I thought I’d do something different (and I was already planning to make a cake for Sunday dinner anyway – for the record it was David Lebovitz’s carrot cake recipe available here and it was very popular). I’ve been having dreams on and off for the last couple months about Golden Fields’ peanut butter parfait with salted caramel and soft chocolate so I decided to try and make something similar. Here’s what I ended up with (sans the crushed peanuts I sprinkled on top because I forgot about them until after the photo was taken, oops):

Peanut butter parfait w/ chocolate mousse and caramel

My version involved three elements: a peanut butter parfait, chocolate mousse and a caramel sauce. It was very popular. And no, I’m not just saying that because I made it.

Peanut butter parfait (largely based on a recipe from the ABC website available here)
4 egg yolks
100g white sugar
75 ml water
1 lemon worth of rind
4 tbl spoons peanut butter
400 ml cream

First step was to whip the egg yolks until they were fluffy. I made the mistake of doing this right after I’d been at the gym doing weights. It took about 10 minutes to whisk by hand and I was in some serious pain.

Next I boiled the sugar and lemon rind with water. The recipe I linked above said to boil the sugar mixture to 118 degrees, I don’t have a sugar thermometer so I just kept it on the heat until it was a clear liquid and had been boiling for about 30 seconds.

Parfait base

After taking the sugar off the heat I mixed it into the egg yolks.

Next I mixed in around 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. I’m normally a crunchy girl but I used a smooth because I thought the texture would work better for the parfait (and I was planning to add crushed peanuts when serving anyway).

The last step was to whip the cream until it was a little firm before folding it through the parfait mixture.

Adding cream

The mix was then poured into a greaseproof paper lined shallow tupperware container and put in the freezer. I was planning to make a biscuit base first and then pour the mix on top of it but I forgot to buy biscuits. Next time.

The best friend’s boy is allergic to peanuts so I also made an alternate parfait with white chocolate and raspberries instead of peanut butter. For this I just made a half batch of the recipe above and substituted the peanut butter with about 100 grams of melted white chocolate and a few crushed raspberries.

Chocolate mousse (almost entirely lifted from here)
200 ml cream
250 g dark chocolate
2 eggs
vanilla essence

I melted the dark chocolate (in the microwave because I’m lazy).


Beat the eggs a little and then mixed them in to the chocolate.

Melted chocolate

Added a couple teaspoons of vanilla essence and some cinnamon.

And finally whipped the cream a little before mixing it into the chocolate and putting the whole thing into the fridge to set.

Mousse magic

Salted caramel sauce
100 g white sugar
100ish ml of cream
Around 4 tablespoons of butter
Sea salt

Before I made the caramel sauce I read David Lebovitz’ tutorial on caramel making (check it out here)

I melted the sugar over a low-ish heat, took the sugar off the heat and mixed in the butter until it melted before mixing in the cream and adding some sea salt.

I have no photos of me trying to make the caramel sauce because I was completely paranoid about burning it. As it turns out the paranoia was probably well founded because I burnt it the first two times I made it. You can see the difference in colour that my inability to concentrate on anything and an extra 10 seconds made.

Burnt caramel

If you’re caramel-challenged like me, here are the tips I would give to avoid having to do it three times:

  • it’s safer to use a slightly lower heat and take longer;
  • use the biggest based pan you can, the thinner you make the layer of sugar the better; and
  • if you’re mixing in butter etc to make a sauce, do it after taking the caramel off the heat – leaving it on (as suggested in the link above) is a recipe for disaster, the sugar will be hot enough to melt it anyway.

The caramel was quite chewy and not very sauce like. Before serving I zapped it in the microwave for about 40 seconds so it was liquid again, it set pretty quickly after being poured on the mousse and parfait though.

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