Cooked cream, or Panna Cotta (the Italian sounds better) has to be on the top 10 of everyone's favourite desserts. Previous incarnations have featured caramelised figs and vanilla poached plums. When I was looking at new spring menu ideas, I noted from Eat The Seasons website, passionfruit would still be in season - ideal for a passionfruit panna cotta.
While I rarely use recipes for savoury cooking, for anything pastry/ baking/ dessertwise I mostly do - they're more scientific, and if you get the measurements slightly wrong things can collapse, not rise, or come out in odd shapes. Panna cotta is the exception though.
How much gelatine do I use for panna cotta?
A sachet of gelatine sets a pint (c. 570 ml), and it's a mix of milk, cream, caster sugar and vanilla bean. If it's a warm summer's day (you can wish) and the fridge isn't keeping very cool one sachet for a pint is a good idea so it sets. The rest of the time, if you like your panna cotta softer - more like crème brûlée - use less. This time I used 2 sachets for 3 pints (1.7 litres) and it worked ideally. That made 15. If you use leaf gelatine this will be even easier to measure - 6 leaves of gelatine sets one pint firm, so in this case it would be 4 leaves to a pint for a 'creamy panna cotta' set.
Waiter, there's something in my..... panna cotta
This gave me the ideal base
I didn't follow her (or effing Gordon's) recipe for the top though. Instead of the normal vanilla panna cotta, I made a passionfuit flavoured version - a mixture of milk, cream, caster sugar and passionfruit coulis till it tasted right. At a guess it was 1/2 milk, 1/4 cream and 1/4 passionfruit coulis and sugar to taste. It totalled 3 pints to which, as I mentioned above, when warm I added 2 sachets of gelatine. Then - as I found out - you have to wait for the mix to cool down before you ladle it on top of the passionfuit jelly - if it's still warm it melts the jelly and the seeds float into the panna cotta mix and you've lost your two tone effect.
Set in the fridge. To de-mould either use your blow torch or them run them under hot water - just remember to catch them....
The pistachio tuiles I made in between serving the children and the adults was the same tuile mix as for the tuile basket, but using a different shaped stencil and with chopped pistachio sprinkled on top. As you take each one out of the oven fold them over the side of the table and use a mug or other weight to hold them in position while they cool. Remember though - if folding over your worktop, just don't open the drawer while they are still there (it all happened yesterday I can tell you!).
You can also make the tuiles a couple of days in advance and keep them in a airtight container.
This has been bookmarked for anyone else who wants to try it on the virtual recipe drawer that is Bookmarked Recipes - your one-stop shop for tried and tested recipes from the food blogger community updated every Monday.
Previous bookmarked recipes