This was everything you’d could want in a dinner party dessert for a special occasion such as New Years eve where this little treat made a welcome appearance. It’s creamy, sweet, satisfying and elegant and will fill that sweet spot when you think there is just no room left after, perhaps an evening full of decadent dinning and some good fizz. Naturally as the choice for the hidden surprise I had to add salted caramel due to my love of salt and its increasing popularity as the foodie trend of 2012! Served alongside some mini tartlets filled with hazelnut or ginger mascarpone topped with diced pear and shards of honeycomb, I think its safe to say these were crowd pleasers…..
Pannacotta (serves 6)
- 250ml double cream
- 250ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
- 2 ½ gelatine leaves
- 50g caster sugar
- 200ml single cream
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tsp runny honey
- 2 tsp water
- Large pinch of maldon salt
- Begin with the salted caramel. Place the cream in a saucepan and warm gently on a low heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the runny honey in another saucepan for a few minutes. Add the water and the caster sugar and allow to dissolve.
- Once dissolved, let it bubble for about 5 minutes and it will begin to turn golden. Watch it closely, giving it a swirl every so often.
- Continue to bubble until golden and caramel coloured. Do not let it get too dark or it will begin to burn and taste bitter.
- Once it reaches the right golden colour (being VERY careful as it will splutter at you) stir in 1/3 of the warm cream and stir. Add the rest of the cream and stir, keeping it on the heat and bubbling for about 2 minutes until syrup-like and smooth.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool (this can also be used for smothering over ice cream to heart attack inducing levels or to line a pastry case for a twist on banoffee pie. It also goes really well with salted peanuts, peanut butter or chocolate)
- Now begin on the pannacotta. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla seeds (pop the pod in as well) on a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring up to the near boil and then remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod.
- Squeeze the excess water from the softened gelatine leaves and whisk into the the hot cream until dissolved.
- Get your serving glasses or ramekins (glass works well as you can see the layers) and spoon about 2 tbsp of cooled salted caramel into each base. Top with the panncotta mixture, carefully to avoid it disturbing the lower layer but this is not a problem if you do.
- Place in the fridge and leave to set for a minimum of 3 hours
Mini sweet pastry tart cases filled with a hazelnut mascarpone and a ginger mascarpone cream, topped with diced pear and honeycomb…..