Over our years of friendship, many conversations have happened over numerous coffees on the subject of collaborating with Sarit and Itamar. The launch last month of their new book, Honey & Co At Home finally gave us the perfect opportunity. Together, on a balmy early August evening, we co-hosted a Supper Club with a menu compiled completely from recipes celebrating home cooking from their third triumphant book.
Gathered in the garden, we welcomed everyone with flowing cocktails, fennel crackers with arak and sugar, taramasalata and silky green aubergine puree, our guests sat down to a pickled peach salad accompanied by Turkish yoghurt bread with aubergine filling, followed by fish pastilla (or spinach egg and feta pie for the vegetarians), a fennel and kohlrabi salad and roasted new season carrots with pistachio cream.
Without a doubt, the piece de resistance was the Frozen Tahini Parfait and Chocolate Sandwich Cake we served for dessert, laced with date syrup and topped with a chocolate and date ganache. A decadently delicious way to end our meal (with a few marunchinos on the side). Not a single plate came back with a morsel left, and if only you had seen us fighting over the leftover pieces after the plates went out………..
Jeremy and I are now on our respective holidays, both of us on a complete high. It was truly a dream come true to plan and cook a meal with chefs we respect so highly and whose recipes we refer to and use weekly. But most importantly, it was so much fun - a night filled with laughter, colour and of course a flavoursome feast.
In case you can’t wait for your copy to arrive, here is the recipe for the Frozen Tahini Parfait. Ideal for crowds big or small, the parfait is made in advance and pulled out of the freezer at the last minute ready to serve. A few pointers - use the best (and purest) tahini you can find (we used this one), and do not over whip the cream even for a few seconds as the parfait texture will be tough and not smooth enough. We made ours in an oblong cake tin (30cm x 15cm) to cut it into fingers rather than cake slices as the recipe states in the book.
Frozen Tahini Parfait and Chocolate Sandwich Cake
From Honey and Co at Home by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovic
Fills a 23cm / 9 inch round cake tin.
For the Chocolate Sponge:
butter for greasing the tin
4 eggs, separated
120g/4oz/2/3 cup caster sugar
50ml/1 1/4fl oz/3 1/2tbsp milk
30g/1oz/1/3cup cocoa powder
50g/1 3/4oz/6tbsp plain flour
For the Tahini Parfait:
600g/1lb 5oz/2 1/4cups double cream
150g/5 1/4floz/2/3cup tahini paste
100g/3 1/2oz/1/2cup + 1tbsp caser sugar
3tbsp date molasses
For the Chocolate Ganache:
100g/3 1/2oz/1/2cup double cream
1tbsp date molasses
100g/3 1/2oz dark chocolate
Make chocolate cakes:
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/375F. Line two 23cm/9inch round cake tins with a circle of baking paper and butter the sides.
Whisk the egg whites in a large mixer bowl with a whisk attachment until they start to foam. Continue to whisk while slowly adding half the sugar until you have a fluffy meringue.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with the milk, then add the remaining 60g/2 1/4oz/1/3cup sugar, the cocoa powder and the flour and combine until you have a smooth paste.
Take a spoonful of meringue and stir into the paste to loosen it, then fold the paste into the remaining meringue, trying to keep in as much air as possible. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 10-12 minutes. The sponge should feel bouncy and when you lightly touch it with the tip of your finger, it should come away dry. Allow to cool in the tins.
Make the parfait
Whisk the cream, tahini, and sugar for the parfait together in a mixing bowl on a low speed until ti thickens to a rich, soft, whipped cream. Scoop into one of the sponges in the tin andsprsad around to cover the entire base. Now use a spoon o drizzle the date molasses all around in swirling motions, so it creates a lovely pattern in the cream. You can make the swirls more pronounced by using the handle of the spoon to swirl the molasses deeper into the cream.
Lift the second sponge out of its tin and flip it sponge-side-down onto the parfait (the baking paper will be on top now). Pop into the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours and up to a month, before glazing.
When you come to remove the frozen sandwich cake from the tin, us a cloth soaked in hot water to wipe the sides of the tin to warm them slightly (or use a blow torch, as they do in professional kitchens). Tip or lift the cake out (depending on whether you are using a loose-based tin) and peel the baking paper off the top and bottom before placing on a serving plate. Return to the freezer until you are ready to glaze.
Make the ganache:
Heat the cream and date molasses to boiling point in a small pan, then pour over the chopped chocolate in a bowl and stir until smooth and shiny. Pour onto the top sponge and use the back of a spoon to spread in lovely waves to cover. Don’t worry if some drizzles off the sides - it will look really tempting. Serve now, or return to the freezer till you are ready.