I find Spring & Summer food inspiring to say the least. It differs so much from Autumn & Winter food which I find comforting and warming and loving. Yes, loving. I find stews and root vegetables loving. They warm me up when cold, nourish me when empty and fill my home with their subtle flavours as they slow cook in the oven. That is how they love.
But Spring & Summer foods and dishes inspire. They make me want to go further and experiment. They excite me in to trying new ingredients and methods and the days are filled during these times with all sorts of new things coming out of my kitchen and in to the mouths of anyone who happens to be around at the time.
Today I give you my recipe for Panna Cotta.
Panna Cotta is translated from Italian to mean ‘Cooked Cream’ and is a visually stunning dessert that melts smoothly in the mouth. It’s a real treat and should be savoured because I wouldn’t recommend eating it daily.
Put it this way, it’s not calorie free.
But with all that gardening we’ve all been doing I’m sure we’ll burn off the calories in no time, yes?
What you will need for this recipe:
Makes 6 Panna Cotta portions.
- 4 Leaves/sheets leaf gelatin
- 400ml Double cream
- 100 grams Caster sugar
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 100ml skimmed milk
- 6 small ramekins/pots
Start by soaking the gelatin leaves in a bowl in some tepid water to soften them up.
In a pan over a low heat warm the the double cream, skimmed milk, caster sugar and a whole vanilla pod (use a sharp knife to cut a line all the way down the middle of the pod, without splitting it in half, so that it releases all of its wonderful flavour as the mixture warms).
Allow the cream mixture to start simmering and then remove the vanilla pod and discard it.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Draining any excess water from them, add the gelatin leaves to the warm pan.
Stir the gelatin leaves until they dissolve.
Pour the mixture into your panna cotta pots, (I used 4 aluminum ramekins and 2 white porcelain ramekins. They are avaialble at all good cooking & baking suppliers), filling to around half way.
Place them onto a large plate or tray and pop them into the fridge.
Chill the panna cotta pots for approximately 2 hours or until set.
When they are set use a warm knife to slowly ease the desserts from their pots or place them in a bowl of hot water for a few moments in order for them to slide out of the ramekins and on to the plate.
This dessert works amazing well with my wonderfully zesty Raspberry Coulis.
Eat it out of doors so that you can see the sky in your spoon.
Watch the evening slip away, forget about the calories and give thanks for good food. Grab a cardigan or blanket, anything that allows you to be outside for as long as possible. Listen to the noises change as the evening draws in. Welcome your eleven month old son down for a moment as he awoke when he should have been asleep and then, when you’re dead beat, blow out the candles. Clear the dripping wax, that you’ve been picking at all night, from the table and retire.
Decide at that moment, when the light goes out, that your sleep will be uninterrupted by worry. That no matter what is coursing through your mind it can and must wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day after all and you need rest in order to be able to do the day justice.
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