3.3 Harry’s Pannacotta
After bouncing pannacottas made with too much gelatine off the kitchen units, or watching those made with too little melting into a puddle, this is the one. These quantities are tried and tested.
You will need some 140ml polypropylene pudding basins for the best results; they are available online. However, old-time teacups work well too. This really is an easy-peasy dessert.
Make more than you’ll need — there are those amongst us who, no matter how much they’ve eaten beforehand, always seem to be able to manage two and still look hungry for more. You know who you are! Still, it’s good to see our guests enjoying themselves.
Harry serves this with raspberry coulis, but my coffee syrup is a more grown-up (boozy) alternative. I pour a semicircle of the syrup around each pannacotta and top each with a chocolate-coated coffee bean.
I used to make pannacotta with double cream but, I’m afraid, the cholesterol police won this round.
- For the pannacotta
- 1 litre of single cream, or a non dairy equivalent
- 140 g caster sugar
- The seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod. (Put the empty pod into your sugar jar to make vanilla sugar, or into a bag of ready-to-eat prunes to turn your breakfast into a treat)
- 4 leaves of gelatine or a 14 g sachet of kosher fish gelatine
- For the coffee syrup
- 50ml dark rum
- 25 ml coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria
- 50 ml sweet Marsala (or cream sherry if not available)
- 50 ml strong espresso coffee, cooled
- 100 ml light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon of arrowroot in 2 tablespoons of cold water
To make the pannacottas
- Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until soft.
- Bring the cream, sugar and vanilla to the boil in a pan, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat.
- Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and stir it into the cream mixture until completely dissolved. (Alternatively, stir the kosher gelatine granules into the warm cream mixture.)
- Pour the mixture into a jug and allow to cool.
- Strain through a fine sieve as you pour it into the pudding basins, being careful towards the bottom as all of the vanilla seeds sink. Make sure you distribute this last bit evenly! Each pudding basin will be approximately two-thirds full.
- Refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours, overnight if possible.
To make the coffee syrup
- Mix all of the ingredients together, except for the arrowroot and water.
- Put half of the mixture into a small saucepan and heat through.
- Add the arrowroot mix a little at a time until the sauce thickens to the consistency of double cream.
- Remove from the heat and, when cool, stir in the other half of the coffee mixture.
- Refrigerate until needed.
- Remove each pannacotta by first running the tip of a knife around the top, to a depth of about 1cm. Hold the pudding basin by its top edge and dip it into a bowl of hot water for 8 – 10 seconds.
- Holding the basin at a 45° angle, gently tap the top edge until the pannacotta loosens itself, then place the basin upside down on a plate. The pannacotta should softly fall from its mould.
- Serve with the coffee syrup, on its own, or with fresh berries, berry compote or fruit coulis.
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