Chocolate coconnetta parfait cake

Inspired by the nostalgic Viennetta ice-cream cake, this fun dessert is sure to delight at any party.
photo of colourful table setting with rectancgular ice-cream cake topped with chocolate crumb in the centre

Photo: Ben Dearnley

Ben Dearnley
10 - 12
1H 10M

“I think every family has a Viennetta story,” says chef Tamika O’Neill. “This classic party favourite was always brought out at birthdays. This reinvented version features coconut and macadamia praline.” Begin this recipe a day ahead.


Chocolate crumb
Chocolate layers
Macadamia praline
Coconut parfait


1.For crumb, preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl; stir in sugar, coconut and melted butter to form a dough. Spread dough thinly over tray lined with baking paper. Bake until crisp (15 minutes); cool on tray, then crumble into pieces.
2.For chocolate layers, line 2 large trays with baking paper. Melt chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Divide chocolate mixture on trays and, using an offset spatula, spread chocolate into thin layers. Refrigerate until set (15 minutes). Cut chocolate layers into five 11cm x 25cm rectangles.
3.For praline, line a large tray with baking paper. Scatter macadamias, coconut and ¼ tsp sea salt flakes on tray. Stir sugar and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and simmer without stirring, until a deep amber caramel (8 minutes). Remove from heat; pour over macadamia mixture, tilting pan slightly so caramel coats nuts. Leave to cool (30 minutes), then break and chop into small pieces.
4.For parfait, whisk cream in a bowl of an electric mixer until thickened slightly. Open chilled coconut milk and scoop out about 200gm coconut cream, discarding the clear liquid underneath. Add coconut cream to cream in the bowl and continue whisking until soft peaks; refrigerate until required. In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites on high speed. Gradually add caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy and sugar is dissolved. Fold meringue into whipped cream; refrigerate until ready to use.
5.To assemble coconnetta, line a 7cm-deep, 11cm x 25cm loaf tin with baking paper, extending 5cm above edges. Spread 1 cup parfait mixture in base of tin, smoothing with a palette knife. Top with 2 tbsp praline, followed by sheet of chocolate. Repeat layering a further four times to create five layers in total, ending with a layer of parfait.
6.Combine 1 cup of chocolate crumb with coconut oil to form a paste; spoon over final parfait layer, pushing down gently; freeze overnight or until firm.
7.Whisk thickened cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks.
8.To decorate, unmould coconnetta onto a serving plate. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the entire cake. Press ¾ cup shredded coconut onto sides and ends. Transfer remaining cream to a piping bag fitted with a 3cm basket weave tip. Pipe a wave pattern down each side of the top of the cake leaving a small gap in the centre. Combine remaining crumb, 2 tbsp praline pieces and ¼ cup shredded coconut. Fill centre with coconut praline mixture. Freeze for a further 3 to 4 hours or until set before serving.

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