"This is one of my most cherished recipes and a dish I'll never get sick of eating or seeing on my menu," says Jacqui Challinor, executive chef at Sydney's Nomad. "I love the mix of flavours and textures – the savoury note of the halva, the velvety olive-oil parfait and the crunch from the filo."
- 75 gm fresh honeycomb
- Honey, to serve
- 300 ml pouring cream
- 1 egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 75 gm (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 100 gm chilled unsalted butter, chopped
- 50 gm brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 180 gm plain flour
- 40 gm rice flour
- 75 gm plain halva, crumbled
- 40 gm pistachios, roasted, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm caster sugar
- 60 gm white sesame seeds
- 4 sheets filo pastry
- 100 gm butter, melted
- 1Grease and line an 18cm square cake tin.
- 2For parfait, whisk cream to firm peaks and refrigerate until required.
- 3Combine egg, yolks and sugar in a large bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water) and stir continuously until sugar dissolves (2 minutes).
- 4Transfer egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until light and fluffy (2½ minutes). Whisking continuously, gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified. Fold in whisked cream in two batches. Pour mixture into prepared tin, then cover and freeze until firm (4 hours or overnight).
- 5Meanwhile for shortbread, process butter and sugar in a food processor until creamy. Add vanilla seeds and plain and rice flours, then pulse until ingredients just start to come together. Transfer to a clean work surface, form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
- 6Preheat oven to 175°C. Break shortbread dough into chunks and press out onto a large baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove tray from oven and break up dough with a wooden spoon. Return to oven for another 15-20 minutes, breaking up dough every 5 minutes, until shortbread is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- 7Add halva and pistachios to shortbread crumbs and combine well. Store in an airtight container until required.
- 8For filo wafers, process caster sugar and sesame seeds until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Lay a filo sheet on a piece of baking paper and brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle over one-third of the sesame mixture. Repeat layering with remaining filo sheets, melted butter and sesame mixture, brushing final layer with butter only. Place another piece of baking paper on top, then a heavy oven tray to weight it down. Refrigerate until butter sets (30 minutes).
- 9Reduce oven temperature to 165°C. Remove top tray and paper and cut filo stack into 20 rectangles 3.6cm x 9cm using a ruler (see note). Transfer to two large oven trays and bake wafers, rotating trays occasionally so pastry cooks evenly, until golden and crisp (15 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- 10Remove parfait from tin and cut into 10 rectangles 3.6cm x 9cm. Sandwich each parfait slice between two filo wafers, then transfer to serving plates. Sprinkle generously with halva shortbread crumble, top with pieces of honeycomb and drizzle with honey to serve.
Note Place a sheet of baking paper under the ruler when cutting the filo stack to stop it sticking. Any pastry scraps can be cooked on a separate tray and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.