From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
For the Parfait:
Rapeseed oil, for greasing
50g (2oz) caster sugar
3 egg yolks
200ml (7fl oz) cream
50ml (2fl oz) Malibu rum
1 tblsp toasted desiccated coconut
For the Pineapple Carpaccio:
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
1 lemon grass stalk, cut in half
1 star anise
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
2 passion fruit
1 large ripe pineapple
2 tblsp finely shredded mint leaves
Coconut sorbet, to serve
8 lime meringues, to decorate
Fresh mint sprigs, to decorate
Mango gel (see link below), to decorate
To make the parfait, brush 10 x 40g (1½oz) cone moulds or a 450ml (¾ pint) non-stick loaf tin with rapeseed oil and set aside until needed.
Place the sugar and 50ml (2fl oz) water in a heavy-based pan and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then continue to boil without stirring until the mixture has reached 116°C (240°F), or the soft ball stage, which means that when you drop a bit of it into cold water to cool it down, it will form a soft ball.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl until they look pale yellow in colour and have become thick and creamy in consistency. When the sugar has reached the correct temperature, quickly whisk it into the egg yolks and continue to whisk until the mixture is cold.
Pour the cream into another bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Mix the Malibu and toasted coconut into the cooled egg yolk mixture and gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour into the prepared moulds or loaf tin, then cover with clingfilm and freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, until solid.
To make the pineapple carpaccio, pour 120ml (4fl oz) water into a small heavy-based pan. Add the sugar, vanilla seeds, lemon grass, star anise and lime juice and bring to a gentle simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the seeds, then stir the seeds into the sugar syrup and leave to cool. When the sugar syrup has cooled, stir in the lime rind and mint.
Meanwhile, slice the top and bottom off the pineapple, sit it upright on a board and slice away the skin and all the little brown 'eyes'. Using an apple corer, remove the core and then using a very sharp knife, slice the pineapple as thinly as possible.
To serve, carefully remove the parfait from the moulds, or if you've used a loaf tin, use a sharp knife dipped in boiling water to cut it into slices. Arrange on plates with the pineapple carpaccio in an attractive layer around it and drizzle the syrup over the pineapple. Place a scoop of coconut sorbet to the side. Drizzle over a little of the carpaccio syrup and decorate with the lime meringues, fresh mint sprigs and mango gel.