Panna cotta is really a grown-up person's jelly. A sophisticated, smooth and sumptuous jelly, I grant you.
Except , regretfully, you never get to see panna cottas in novelty jelly moulds. Unless I've led a very sheltered life and simply never seen a panna cotta in the shape of a racing car or pig.
Cue nostalgic reminiscing of quivering blancmange and wobbling jellies devoured at many a childhood birthday party. For me, the rabbit jelly was definately a highlight amongst the salmon paste sandwiches, cheese 'n pineapples on a stick and Wagon Wheels. Heck, our red rabbit jelly even came on its own green jellied grass. I know. Nothing short of brilliant.
However, as tempted as I was to set this panna cotta in a spaceship mould, I resisted.
I've never made panna cotta before. After all, the M&S version rocks. Beset with apprehension, I felt it was high time I lost my panna-cotta-virginity and
... mine rocks too!
I was so happy with the result I did a little dance around the room while singing 'my panna cotta rocks! my panna cotta rocks!'.
I know, I do need to get out more.
I think I was just very, very surprised it was a success. Anyways, this panna cotta forms my entry for this month's We Should Cocoa, the most-brilliant chocolate-based blogging challenge, this month hosted by Chele from the Chocolate Teapot. The challenge? To create a chocolate based recipe with apricots.
White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Apricot compote
(to make two panna cottas)
250ml double cream
75ml whole fat milk
75g white chocolate
1 dessertspoon of caster sugar
3 gelatine leaves
Four apricots, stones removed and chopped
1 dessertspoon of caster sugar
1. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for five minutes (or follow the instructions on the packet) and chop the chocolate into small pieces
2. Pop the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat gently until just about to simmer
3. Add the sugar and chocolate, lower the heat and stir until all the ingredients are melted together
4. Drain any excess water from the geletine leaves, add to the creamy mixture and stir until dissolved
5. Allow to completely cool
6. When cooled, strain and pour carefully into your ramekins or moulds
7. Refridgerate for at least six hours, longer if possible
8. To make the compote, put the apricots, sugar and 50ml water into a small saucepan and heat gently, until the apricots are soft
9. Remove from the heat, place with the set panna cotta and enjoy!
- I made these panna cottas in silicone cupcake moulds, a cracking idea as this meant they could easily be loosened and removed from the mould to be placed on the plate
- Otherwise mini pudding basins, moulds, or ramekins would work: to remove the panna cotta, dip the basin into hot (boiled) water for three seconds, place the plate over the top of the basin and invert, gently shaking the basin to remove the panna cotta. This may involve a few re-dippings in the water. Careful not to scorch your fingers though
- I set my panna cottas for just short of 24 hours in the fridge. One great thing about this dessert is that it can be made in advance: perfect dinner party dessert, no?
- A raspberry, strawberry or mixed berry coulis or compote would taste deee-lish
- Right, I'm off to make more: guess who is having panna cottas every night for pudding at the moment?