Halvah Parfait, adapted from Zachi Bukshester
Like many young Israelis, Zachi Bukshester came out of his army service confused about his future. Despite parental opposition, he went to the Tadmor Cooking School of Hotel Management in Herzliyya. Eventually he opened a restaurant and became famous for many dishes, especially his halvah parfait, made from a ground sesame-seed candy. He said, “Although halvah is Turkish, a parfait is mostly French and Western. In Israel, these things can meet.”
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces halvah
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup kirschwasser
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur (like Bartender)
1. Bring 1/2 cup of water and sugar to boil in a saucepan. Continue to boil for 2 minutes.
2. Whip the heavy cream until stiff. Cover and refrigerate.
3. Crumble the halvah into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, gradually blend in half the sugar water on low speed. Do not over-mix; you want to retain some texture.
4. Whisk the egg yolks in a stainless-steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk in the remaining sugar water.
5. When the yolks are pale and frothy, remove the bowl from the water and add the yolk mixture to the halvah, mixing on low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat a few more minutes, until the halvah mixture is slightly frothy.
6. Add the kirschwasser and amaretto to the halvah. Beat for another minute.
7. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into a 4-cup container, cover tightly, and freeze for several hours or overnight. Spoon into parfait cups, as is or drizzled with a little amaretto, kirsch, or the brandy of your choice.
Yield: 8 servings
Note: You can also toast 1 cup of roughly chopped walnuts, then fold half into the parfait and sprinkle the other half on top.