Monday, 17 October 2011

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly




Panna Cotta is a traditional Italian dessert made by simmering milk, cream and sugar, mixing it with gelatine and allowing it to set. It is often served with berries, fruit coulis, caramel or chocolate. Here I have chosen to make a classic vanilla panna cotta with a raspberry jelly as a fun little taste of dessert and a nice burst of colour!

I made these on Sunday night for my family as they were coming over for dinner for the first time to the apartment! It was quite entertaining as there was musical chairs going on with 6 of us and only 4 chairs so we took it in turns to sit down! :-D

I bought these little glasses in Ikea which I thought were really cute but if you have little shot glasses or ramekins they will be perfect too! This is a really simple dessert and considering my recipe is half milk, half cream they aren't as bad for you as full fat panna cotta you can enjoy guilt free eating! :-p

It's even better if you can make this dessert a day ahead to allow the setting time and also to save on the panic if you are entertaining guests! They look really pretty too and I think your guests would be very impressed if you served these up :-)

Prep/Cook: 30 mins plus 2-3 hrs setting time (Overnight even better)

Serves: 6 main portions or 10 taste portions

For the raspberry jelly:
125g raspberries
100ml water
30g castor sugar
3 gelatine leaves

For the panacotta:
250ml milk
250ml cream
30g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod
3 gelatine leaves
a punnet of raspberries to serve

Method:
If you are using ramekins for this or a dish that you would like to turn the panacotta out of, make sure to sparingly oil the inside of the dishes with vegetable oil or un-flavoured non-stick cooking spray before pouring in the panna cotta.

Place 3 gelatine leaves in cold water and leave for 4-5mins. Meanwhile, place the raspberries, sugar and water in a pot and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup becomes infused.

Drain the gelatine leaves and squeeze out any excess water. Add the gelatine to the pot and stir until all the gelatine has dissolved completely.

Spoon the raspberries evenly among your serving glasses and pour the jelly syrup into each glass with just enough to cover the raspberries. Place the glasses on a tray and refrigerate until set. Make sure to keep the glasses on an even surface so the jelly sets evenly!

While the jelly is setting in the fridge, put the other 3 gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water, leave for 4-5mins and drain as above.

Place the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla essence (or vanilla pod) into a saucepan and simmer gently for a few minutes. When little bubbles appear at the edge of the pot, remove from the heat. Add the gelatine leaves and stir until they have completely dissolved.

Leave to the side to cool and infuse until the raspberry jelly is set - Don't leave for hours though as you don't want your panna cotta to set in the pot!!

When the raspberry jelly is set, pour the panna cotta into each glass.

Return to the fridge and allow to set for 1-2hrs. Preparing these the night before is always a bit handier and you can have one thing out of the way!

When ready to serve, place a raspberry or two on top and... Enjoy!!


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