serves eight to ten
soft butter (for greasing mold)
11⁄3 pounds dark chocolate, broken
into small pieces                              
12 ounces unsalted butter, in
small dices
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
12 egg yolks
1⁄2 cup castor (or superfine) sugar
3 tablespoons cognac
13⁄4 cups whipping cream, whipped lightly
12 egg whites
1⁄2 cup castor sugar
fruit as garnish

Butter a rectangular mold known as a pate mold. (You can also use a rectangular bread pan. The mold really doesn’t matter since the mixture will freeze to any shape you desire—it could even be a pie shell.)

Melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler (a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water), continually stirring to prevent the butter from splitting. Fold in cocoa powder. Set melted chocolate mixture aside. Beat egg yolks and half a cup of castor sugar until thick and pale. Add the cognac to the chocolate mixture, mix well, then fold into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the lightly whipped cream (the cream should be airy and not dense). In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks with a little less than half a cup of castor sugar; fold this into the chocolate/egg/cream mixture. Pour into the prepared mold, then freeze overnight. To plate, simply unmold parfait and slice with a hot knife. Garnish with winter fruit, such as blood oranges or mangoes.

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