Halvah Parfait

by Daniel Rogov

Although many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ingredients and dishes have become part of the repertoire of chefs throughout Europe and North America, the only dish invented in Israel to attain international acclaim has been this one. Originally devised by Tsachi and Linda Buchester, the dish was widely copied locally, and many Tel Aviv and Jerusalem chefs even began to believe that they and not the Buchesters had invented it. So it seems to be in America, France and Belgium today, where the dish now appears as the "unique invention" of the chefs in many highly prestigious restaurants.

1 cup (225 ml.) sweet cream
6 Tbsp. sugar
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. Amaretto liqueur
150 gr. halvah, broken into small pieces

In a bowl whip the sweet cream until it forms stiff peaks. In a small saucepan mix the sugar with 6 Tbsp. of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.

In the top of a double boiler, over but not in boiling water, place the syrup and add the egg yolks and Amaretto. Mix with a hand mixer without stopping until the mixture is thick in texture and lighter in color and begins to form a foam on the surface. Remove from the heat, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the halvah. Mix at a high speed without stopping for 15 minutes and then fold in the whipped cream, mixing gently with a plastic spatula until the mixture is even throughout.

Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in the freezer for a minimum of 6-8 hours. Serve in thick slices as a dessert.

Serves 4-6.

Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He is also the senior writer for Wine and Gourmet Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.

Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry and Rogov's Ramblings. Reprinted with permission.