Continuing the bribery story from Saturday Night Sushi (I didn’t realise my cooking carried with it a threat on life!). I went with the failproof, the delicious, the wobbly panna cotta. There are approximately 1 billion flavours that you could use for panna cotta and I’m fairly confident that I’d say no to none of them.
This time, I chose honey and cinnamon, with a tequila berry sauce. Words cannot describe how dead easy this dessert is (wait, I’m being told this is a food blog and that I do, indeed, have to describe in words how dead easy is this dessert).
Step 1: get steeping. Combine 600mL pouring cream, 150mL milk, 90gm honey, 40gm caster sugar and a couple of cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring this all to a gentle boil over medium heat and give it a good old stir occasionally. When the sugar has dissolved, remove the pot from the heat. Let it hang out for 20 minutes or so to let that delicious, fragrant, spicy cinnamon ooze its way through the rest of the creamy liquid in the pot.
Step 2: Mix 5 grams of gelatine in a small amount of cold water (for no particular reason at all, ahem, I can confidently say that dissolving gelatine in boiling liquid does not work). Tip this gooey mixture into your pot of creamy goodness and stir until the ingredients are friendly with each other.
Step 3: it’s moldin’ time. Pick your mold – say, individual 200mL-capacity ramekins. The idea is to tip your mixture into the ramekins, give it about 4 hours chill time in the fridge and it should be set. When it comes to serving, use a knife to slice around the edge, upturn the ramekin, run a little warm water over it all if it’s stuck, and serve as a beautiful, wobbly, upturned delight. I made the fatal error of choosing a 12-muffin…muffin tray, which is fine, except when you decide you want 1 panna cotta for dessert and all 12 of them decide to exit the muffin tray.
Step 4: Gettin’ saucy. I tipped about a half a pack of frozen berries into a fry pan along with half a cup of water, a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a decent dash of tequila. After cooking on high (and stirring occasionally) for a few minutes you can see the liquid reducing and starting to get this lusciously thick, deep-coloured, sweet appearance. Basically, when you’re happy with the thickness, your sauce is done. The longer you leave it, the more liquid will evaporate and the thicker it’ll get. Spoon over the panna cotta while warm and you’ll get a fantastic warm/cold smooth sensation.
The punters will be happy and you’ll feel like a champ.