May 28
2010

Washoku Warriors Challenge #10: Wa-derful Parfaits

in Washoku Warriors

The Washoku Warriors challenge for this month was a fun one, given by Andoh-san.  The challenge was to come up with an original Wa (“wa” means harmony in Japanese) Parfait based on the Zensai Parfait (p.301).  Any flavor ice cream (probably vanilla being the most “neutral”), plus unsweetened corn flakes (or other grain) PLUS two or more of the following components:

  • Chunky Red Bean Jam (Tsubu An), p.108
  • Citrusy Miso (Yuzu Miso), p.102—made with lemon and/or lime zest, or the gingery version on p.305
  • Brown Sugar Syrup (kuro mitsu), p.110
  • Nutty Miso (Matsu no mi Miso, Kurumi Miso), p.106—walnut, pine or other ground/pulverized nut such as cashews, hazelnuts, almonds.  To make it a dessert sauce, add ½ teaspoon sugar to miso and stir over low heat until the sugar is melted.  Then make sauce as described but thin with water to make a pourable sauce (consistency of thick cream)
  • Mixture of kinako and cinnamon suggested in the waffle recipe on p.302

Andoh-san’s “original” Wa-derful Parfait was one scoop each of black sesame ice cream and vanilla ice cream, crunchy corn flakes between the scoops, sauced with sweetened almond miso (she suggests using marzipan and shiro miso to make it easier), drizzled with a few drops of brown sugar syrup, and then maybe garnished with sliced fresh fruit.

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Rachael of La Fuji Mama

Fuji Mama's Wa-derful Parfait

I loved this challenge.  I kept my parfait simple.  For my ice cream, I froze my leftover gold kiwi cream, which turned into a fabulous ice cream.  I used plain organic corn flakes as my grain.  Then I made the nutty miso, using a sweetened almond puree and shiro miso, and the brown sugar syrup.  The parfait was absolutely amazing.  The tangy sweetness of the gold kiwi ice cream was delicious combined with the nutty salty sweetness of the nutty miso and the rich sweetness of the brown sugar syrup.  The brown sugar syrup really thickened up once it touched the cold ice cream, making the texture like a thick caramel.  I love the use of the nutty miso sauce as a dessert sauce for the same reason that I love salted caramel—I love the combination of savory and sweet.  I think the savory elements enrich the sweet elements.   I’m looking forward dreaming up my next combination, especially after reading about everyone else’s creations!

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Sarah of Somedays

Sarah's Wa-derful Parfait

Having been a grad student until very recently my immediate response to a new project is RESEARCH.  I treated this challenge no differently, so before I got to putting together my own parfait I went out and tried a few parfaits at various restaurants – all STRICTLY in the name of RESEARCH of course.  I (very seriously) thought about what I liked in each one (different textures, different ways of presenting the same flavour, etc) and what I didn’t (overripe or under ripe fruit, toppings that were too sweet, not being able to get the last drops out of the bottom of the glass, etc).  Then, having done my research (and some extra exercise to make sure the research didn’t go straight to my thighs), I set about making my own perfect parfait.  I ended up deviating completely from Andoh’s Zensai Parfait and not even making any of the individual challenge sauces.  I did make a kinako syrup very roughly based on Andoh’s Brown Sugar Syrup, but that was the closest I got as I decided to limit my parfait to two flavours – green tea and kinako (a nutty flavoured soy bean powder).  Assembling the parfait I started with green tea custard (Birds English custard with matcha powder), added some green tea yokan (sweet bean jelly – of course this was way too sweet for me and I should have left it out), then green tea ice cream and brown rice flakes. Then more custard, warabi mochi (bracken starch dumplings in sweet kinako sugar), and more ice cream. I topped this with more brown rice flakes and my kinako syrup.  It was delicious, I especially liked the nutty kinako syrup on green tea ice cream and I have a feeling that it will find its way into my kitchen again in the not so distant future!

Read Sarah’s post about the challenge: Parfait Parfaite

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Phoebe of Studio of Good Living

Phoebe's Wa-derful Parfait

I loved this Washoku challenge!  I made the red bean jam, brown sugar syrup, 2 nut based miso sauces, one with toasted pecans and red miso, and one with macadamia nuts and white miso.  Plus, the citrus miso.  Here are the changes I made:  Instead of cornflakes, I used rice crispies.  I substituted jaggery (Indian brown sugar) for the Japanese variety simply because I had it on hand and didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store.  I made two different variations of the parfait.  Both versions had vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, rice crispies and brown sugar syrup drizzled on top. That’s where the similarities ended.  I layered the first one with alternating citrus miso and macadamia nut miso sauce between the scoops of ice cream.  (That was my husband’s favorite.)  The second was my favorite and I had alternating layers of the red bean jam and the pecan miso sauce between the scoops of vanilla ice cream. Both were excellent, although my husband found the red bean jam a little ‘bean-y’ for his taste. However, I loved it, and I am happy to have some on hand!!  The nut based miso sauces were really easy to make and I am going to try the savory version of these with steamed vegetables next time.  Because of the small quantity of the nuts, I found it easy (and fun!) to make these sauces in a mortar and pestle.

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Nicole of discojing

Nicole's Wa-derful Parfait

I made these parfaits while a friend was over and set out all the toppings in individual containers so we could make the parfaits お好み-style (okonomi, “as you like”).  While it was a bit time consuming to assemble the ingredients, the recipes all made large quantities so you can make parfaits instantly for weeks after the initial work ^_^. This is also a great alternative for those that don’t like Western-style sweets and prefer a more balanced sweet/savory dessert. Note: I made my own kinako since it was nowhere to be found, and botched the walnut miso and brown sugar syrup.

Read Nicole’s post about the challenge: Zensai Parfait

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }



jenjenk May 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

i just love that you find so many uses for the golden kiwi cream! how awesome!

i dare you to find a way for savory uses of it! :)

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Nicole May 28, 2010 at 9:03 am

how did the frozen kiwi cream turn into ice cream? is freezing any type of cream technically making it “ice cream”. I made a creme fraiche “sorbet” once by making creme fraiche, sweetening it, and then freezing it.

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Paula - bell'alimento May 28, 2010 at 9:05 am

I love reading through all the WW challenges! Y’all are so talented!

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Joy May 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

They looks great. I like the different flavors.

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Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Lovely! I always enjoy reading all about the Washoku Warriors challenges. I am so impressed.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Beautiful roundup Rachael! Like Jen, I am am always so impressed with the WW challenges!

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