Buddy Valastro’s Cream Puff Parfait
"My father made this eye-catching dessert for Viennese Hours, the receptions we used to cater at local wedding halls. It’s a one-of-a-kind offering that turns cream puffs into the basis of a pyramid-like tower, held together with cream and topped with chocolate shavings, drizzled with melted chocolate, or both. Dad sometimes infused the cream with espresso and scattered espresso beans over the dessert: you can certainly do that. Or experiment with other flavoring agents and finishing touches to personalize this parfait, such as grinding espresso beans and adding them to the cream, which I like to do because adding brewed espresso makes the cream too loose; the longer the cream rests, the more intense the espresso flavor will be." - Buddy
In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream and sugar on medium speed until stiff, about 5 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl.
Transfer the custard cream to the mixer bowl and whip briefly to smooth out the cream and ensure there are no lumps. Pour in the Frangelico, then slowly add the whipped cream. Stop and scrape the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula, then continue to whip until smooth and airy.
Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with the #5 plain tip. Use your pinkie to hollow out the puffs from the bottom and pipe cream into the puffs through the hole. Pipe the cream puffs full of cream.
Pipe circles of cream into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Arrange 5 or 6 cream puffs around the circumference of the bottom, and 1 in the center. Build a pyramid of cream puffs, piping cream on top of each layer and around each puff, and smoothing it with a rubber spatula.
Refrigerate the parfait at least 4 hours or overnight to set it and allow the flavors to develop. Just before serving, shave the chocolate over the parfait with a box grater.
To serve, use two spoons to transfer 1 cream puff to each of 24 plates. Spoon some more cream over the puff and serve.
You can also finish the parfait with a drizzle of melted chocolate (melt 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or 2 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler) piped from a parchment pencil (see page 185) and/or with a dusting of cocoa powder.
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