Lately we were invited by friends and they surprised us with “a perfect dinner”. We all like watching “Das Perfekte Promi Dinner”, a TV series adapted from the British “Celebrity Come Dine With Me”. The German version features celebrities whose name in the majority of cases you’ve never heard of and most of them are either athletes decorated with a silver medal for something like hurdle race or so-called actors from soaps running on TV in the afternoon when most people are at work. Anyway, we love to slouch on the couch while watching other people sweating in their kitchen, working on the decoration in order to get a good rating from the guests at the end of the evening. That night at our friends’ house it was lovely weather and we had the aperitif on the balcony and the four courses (salad, meat dish, dessert and cheese) inside. Everything was very good and each course had its perfectly matching wine, it was a great evening and we had a blast (by all means we had a perfect dinner and rated them 10!). The absolute winner certainly was the dessert: a basil lime parfait.
It was unbelievably good; creamy and velvety, basil kissed lime and cream, the flavor haunted me for the following three days. They were too slow mailing the recipe and when my withdrawal symptoms got unbearable I remembered they found the recipe on the internet. I looked it up myself and found it, originally from Holger Zurbrüggen, a VIP chef with a restaurant called “Balthazar” in Berlin. This is so good and refreshing and you don’t even feel the millions of calories. A couple of fresh strawberries are the best companions (because they’re unbeatbale as a team with basil) but you can serve it with most fresh berries and a little bit of lime juice. “Parfait” is French for “perfect” and now I know why this dessert has got that name.
a good handful of fresh basil
zest of one lime
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mascarpone
100ml whipped cream
Mix the cream with the sugar and add the basil (leaves and shafts) and the zest of (a well washed) lime. Let it steep at ca. 50°C for about 15 minutes, then put into a bowl through a sieve and let it cool down a bit.
Whisk the egg-yolks and the sugar over a hot bain-marie until it’s creamy. Now add the basil/lime cream, the mascarpone and finally the whipped cream.
Fill into glasses and put into the freezer over night. Best is to get it out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving with a fresh basil leave, strawberries or any other fresh fruit with icing sugar and lime juice.