Poppyseed parfait, lemon tuilles, rhubarb and ginger.

I had been waiting for what seemed like an excrutiatingly long time, for my preordered Fat Duck cookbook to arrive. A couple of days ago, I got home to the sight of a huge parcel leaning casually against our front door. I dragged it into the apartment and ripped it open, rather excitedly. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Fat Duck book, which at the time I thought I actually forgot to order. Instead, amongst the plastic packaging was a copy of Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit. Oh, when did I order that?

Flipping through the book (always from the back first, where the desserts are!), the words poppy, seed, parfait, caught my eye. I had never really thought about this before, but I seem to have a certain fondness for most things poppyseed-related. Lemon and poppyseed cake would be the first thing that comes to mind, but I’ve also seen lots of creative ways in which people utilise poppyseeds, such as in a vinaigrette dressing and in pasta dough. My friend Gabby also makes the most amazing Hungarian poppyseed pastry rolls called beigli.

This dish is my interpretation of Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe. The rhubarb in particular was very delicious – rhubarb and ginger are one of those heavenly matches that always leave me reaching for more. With the leftover cooking liquor, I diluted it a little, and froze it to make a pretty-in-pink granita to complement the rest of the dish.

As for the Fat Duck book? Well, I’ve since realised that I didn’t forget to order it afterall, so now I’m the ridiculous owner of not one but two copies of that gorgeous book. How, I ask you, do I manage to do these things!? πŸ˜›

Poppyseed Parfait :
(from Aquavit, by Marcus Samuelsson)

1 cup poppyseeds
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
scant 1/4 cup honey
3 cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half

Combine the poppyseeds, pine nuts and honey in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the honey is liquefied. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and rum in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the pan. Set over simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until hot to the touch. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk until thick, pale yellow, and cool. Fold in the poppyseed mixture, then fold in the whipped cream.

Divide the parfait among eight glasses. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Poached rhubarb:
(a variation on Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe for a rhubarb compote)

300g trimmed rhubarb stalks
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, lightly smashed and cut into 4cm lengths
1 small piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half

Cut the rhubarb into 4cm lengths. Slice each piece into 1/2, or 1/4 if they are thick pieces.

Combine the sugar, water, lemongrass and ginger in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds and pod to the pan. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let stand for 20 minutes to infuse the liquid with flavour.

Strain the infused liquid and return it to the saucepan. Add the rhubarb and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the pieces are just tender. Remove from the heat. Strain the liquid and let cool slightly before serving.

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  1. Lorraine E said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:09 am

    Hehe I love how you read cookbooks from the back first. Gordon Ramsay calls the dessert section “The Dark Arts” which I love as it’s so Happy Potter.

    Meanwhile I’m drooling over that dessert-I’ve never had rhubarb with ginger but will have to try that combination and the ice cream looks divine, so full of poppyseeds πŸ™‚

  2. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:21 am

    Its funny, i often stop at the desserts in cookbooks and let my husband pick up there to make dessert. This is so lovely–makes me look forward to the 6 mos before I get spring.

  3. matt wright said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:41 am

    This looks wonderful! Talk about some serious plating.
    I didn’t even know there was a Fat Duck cookbook out! How sad am I

  4. Reemski said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:45 am

    It just looks so pretty! You’re so good!

  5. Susan from Food Blogga said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 10:54 am

    What a stunning presentation. I have flipped through his books at Borders and am so impressed by his innovative recipes.

  6. Christie@fig&cherry said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    I’ll buy it off you! Love you impromptu idea of the granita – very clever. I’m a big fan of rhubarb and ginger too. x

  7. Vera said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

    Gorgeous, Y! What a beautiful presentation!

  8. the caked crusader said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

    I do that! I always start at the back too!
    Love the combination of rhubarb and ginger – it never fails to delight.
    Interesting parfait – I can’t imagine how it would feel in my mouth (I suspect, fantastic!)

  9. Piggy said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

    Beautiful looking dessert, I like the way you shaped the tuilles. Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with from these two books. πŸ˜‰

  10. pea and pear said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

    I don’t mind taking the extra copy off your hands πŸ˜‰
    It reminds me of the time 3 years ago when our best friend bought an elbuilli book (for some ungodly amount) and when the book arrived he couldn’t get the disc to work. So he contacted amazon and told him about the problem. They then promptly sent an entire other copy to him free of charge. Being the generous soul he is he gave us the original copy and lo and behold the disc worked in our computer… oh happy day.

  11. grace said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

    this is unique and truly beautiful. you continue to impress and amaze me with your talents. πŸ™‚

  12. Eileen said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 1:01 am

    Very, very nice. And a beautiful photo!

  13. Dee said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 2:48 am

    How, I ask, do you manage these delicious works of art?

    I received a package from Amazon recently, and discovered a Paula Dern cookbook lurking inside. It wasn’t a mistake; I actually ordered it. I’m still trying to figure out Why.

  14. maryann said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 3:17 am

    This is so unique! I love it πŸ™‚

  15. linda said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 6:50 am

    Wonderful dessert! Never knew about the combo of ginger and rhubarb, but I know ginger goes a so well with orange.
    I know how you manage to do that kind of stuff (ordering books twice): because you only sleep 4.5 hours lol!

  16. clumbsycookie said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 9:42 am

    I allways look at the back of cookbooks first too! Now poppy seed parfait sounds so interesting that I might have to give it a go! One of my favourite things to eat and make are parfaits! Wonderful decoration as allways!

  17. arfi said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 11:52 am

    once again, your plating is phenomenal, Y! i love those curly biscuits!

  18. cakebrain said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    Wow! your photos are awesome! The textural contrasts and the colours are fabulous. Looks yummilicious too!

  19. celine said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

    we must be twins…forgetting about ordering a book sounds like something I’d be good at, too!
    beautiful pics, as always, Y.

  20. snookydoodle said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 4:35 am

    these look nice and I really like the tuiles. Great photos

  21. Chocolate Shavings said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 5:08 am

    This looks beautifully elegant – it makes me want to buy the book. Acutally, I’ve flipped through it many times, and should just get myself to buy it!

  22. Helen said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Oh you know how I feel about poppy seeds! I adore them and I adore rhubarb too and of course, with ginger….Don’t those seeds just look so pretty too?

  23. Sophie said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    I’ve only had poppy seeds in lemony muffins, but I can imagine they taste delicious in this treat. It’s just too pretty. Lovely presentation, as always :).

  24. Elizabeth said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 11:12 am

    Rhubarb and Ginger is a wonderful combination.
    This presentation is gorgeous; I admire people who can
    think of these things.

  25. Jude said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

    Interesting recipe… This would probably be banned in some countries.
    Looking forward to you posts on the Fat Duck cookbook!

  26. Christy said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

    And I thought I have enough cookbooks. My shelf is heaving with all the books and magazines that I have procured over the years. Yep, I don’t throw out my old magazines either. Thus I solemnly swore to myself earlier this year to refrain from buying anymore cookbooks. Looks like I have to break it now…

    Beautiful dessert; i like the abstract way you have plated the whole thing.

  27. Naama said,

    October 25, 2008 @ 2:49 am

    This dessert is a visual masterpiece, everything is in the right place! The pictures are just beautiful.

  28. Patricia Scarpin said,

    October 25, 2008 @ 2:52 am

    Your food is always so beautifully plated and presented I would hesitate to dive in… But just for 2 seconds, tops. πŸ˜‰

  29. Shari said,

    October 26, 2008 @ 2:27 am

    Rhubarb, ginger, poppy seeds. What a beautiful dessert! I oredred an extra copy of Dorie’s Baking from My Home to Yours by mistake. We could trade?!!

  30. Tartelette said,

    October 26, 2008 @ 2:27 am

    It sounds magical and looks wonderful! Lovely interpretation. Sounds so refreshing and light!

  31. White On Rice Couple said,

    October 27, 2008 @ 9:21 am

    wowzers, this is beautiful! I just love all the flavors here, especially the ginger!!

  32. Cakelaw said,

    October 27, 2008 @ 1:01 pm


  33. Leonor de Sousa Bastos said,

    October 28, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    Your tuiles look so gracious to those parfait quenelles…

    The plate is beautiful and the set of flavors look so fresh and delightful!!

  34. Gabriela said,

    October 28, 2008 @ 5:22 am


  35. Indigo said,

    October 28, 2008 @ 7:39 am

    So beautifully presented! And I love poppyseed, I bet I’d adore this.

  36. Deeba said,

    October 29, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

    How wonderful…really really nice! I love poppyseed anything…& this is really something!

  37. Zoë François said,

    October 30, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

    This is gorgeous! I love lemon poppy seed cake and you have just taken it to the next level!

  38. Dror said,

    December 1, 2008 @ 8:59 am

    I think that I just found my perfect deser for X-mas….Thanks a lot! it looks amazing but I was wondering how you make the curly biscuits? can you please advice? thanks in advance.

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