Panna cotta is a pretty Italian pudding and quick to make. It goes well topped with Rote Grütze, or flavoured with coffee in which case add a couple of tablespoons of strong espresso coffee, or one of those nespresso capsules.
Alternatively it is good served with honeycomb.
NB – this is one of those dishes which needs to be chilled in the fridge for about four hours before serving.
Recipe for panna cotta
- 300ml/1¼ cups double cream
- 60ml/¼cup milk
- 1 sheet of leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water (see below)
- 6 teasps golden caster sugar
- small vanilla pod (or ideally use vanilla sugar which has had a vanilla pod infusing in it for a week or so)
- grease six ramekins – or better still use small glass bowls or glasses
- put the cream, milk and vanilla pod together with the sugar into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Leave for as long as you can for the vanilla to infuse and then take the pod out.
- Rehydrate the gelatine in cold water for two minutes, squeeze out really well and add to the warm cream mix (NB the cream mix should be warm, not boiling because the gelatine won’t set if it has contact with a boiling liquid). Mix in until all the lumps are gone.
- Place the pan over a bowl of iced water (this enables the cream to thicken so don’t try to skip this step) and mix until the cream thickens up slightly. This is especially important if you are adding in something (such as chopped nuts for example) to add extra flavour and the ingredient has some weight. The thickened cream will keep the particles suspended rather than them all sinking to the bottom.
- Check for sweetness – you may need more – this recipe is purposely ‘under-sweet’ to enable you to add to taste
- Pour into ramekins or glasses (these look prettier if you are serving topped with Rote Grütze) and chill for at least four hours
- If you have used ramekins, dip each quickly into hottish water and then turnover and deposit on the plate.