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This classic Italian dessert is literally translated as 'cooked cream'. It is smooth, creamy and goes extremely well with a seasonal fruit compote. Try it with a biscuit of your choice like shortbread or biscotti to contrast with the texture of the dessert.
- 500ml Double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 100g Caster sugar
- 5g gelatine leaves (3) or ½ sachet gelatine crystals
- 65ml milk
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (+30 minutes infusing and 2 hours chilling)
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- Using a sharp knife, cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways. Then scrape the seeds out of each half using the tip of the knife.
- Pour half the cream into a pan, put in the vanilla pod with the seeds and sugar. Bring to the cream to the boil, stirring every now and then so that the sugar dissolves, and then turn off the heat. Leave the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes.
- When the mixture has infused for 30 minutes, if using gelatine leaves, place them in a bowl of cold water to soften. Then heat the milk until it is almost boiling, turn off the heat, remove the gelatine leaves from the water and add them to the hot milk, stirring until they have dissolved. If using gelatine crystals, sprinkle the crystals into the cold milk and allow them to soak. Then heat the milk over a very low heat until the crystals dissolve, stirring once or twice.
- Discard the vanilla pod from the infused cream, then pour the milk and gelatine mixture through a sieve into the infused cream mixture, stir it together then pour it into a bowl. Put some cold water into another bowl and then sit the bowl containing the cream mixture into the cold water (this is to help cool the cream mixture). Take care not to get any water in the cream mixture.
- Whip the remaining cream.
- When the cream and gelatine mixture is cool but not set, fold in the whipped cream.
line a baking tray with 2 pieces of cling-film/plastic-wrap, lightly oil 6 ring moulds with vegetable oil, put the ring moulds onto the lined baking tray and carefully pour the mixture into the moulds
just pour the mixture into ramekins.
- Put the pannacottas into the fridge for about 2 hours, until they have set firmly.
- If using ring moulds, put each pannacotta onto the serving plate and heat the moulds by cupping each one with your hands until the mould slides off.
- Serve. We served it on a bed of chopped strawberries marinated for 30 minutes in icing sugar and covered with a sprinkling of crushed ginger biscuit.
- During step 2, instead of using vanilla, you could flavour the cream with anything you like such as lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon or even lavender.