If you watch MasterChef Australia, you’ve heard about the notoriously hard-to-get-perfect dessert called Panna Cotta. (BTW, if you do watch MasterChef, read this) :P
It’s a thing of beauty. Usually pearly white, with a slight wobble, and silken smooth when your spoon cuts through it.
Panna Cotta is essentially cooked cream that’s set in a mould with gelatin. You could sweeten it with sugar or honey, and add any other flavors you want. Most often, it’s served with some sort of fruit compote or purée.
I’ve made a Coconut milk Panna Cotta before, but I never un-moulded it for fear of it falling apart.
So I decided to be brave and make a simple Panna Cotta I could un-mould and serve in all its wobbly, white glory.
I experimented with different amounts of gelatin and made it a few times until I got the texture absolutely right.
I also played around with a few fruit flavors and textures.
This is the perfect summer dessert – it’s delicate and cold, and can be eaten within 4 hours of putting it in the fridge to set.
My recipe makes exactly 2 serves, but feel free to double/triple.
Make this for someone special today – and watch them smile as you bring out the perfect wobble :)
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 6 mins, plus 4+ hours setting
120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
180 ml (3/4 cup) full cream
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
fruit compote or purée of your choice (optional)
1. Pour the milk into a pan and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir gently and continuously until the gelatin dissolves (about 3 minutes) but make sure it doesn’t boil. Now add the cream and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves (another 3 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into 2 custard cups and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set (more is okay, but not less.)
4. To un-mould, run a knife around the edge of the cup and then dip it into a pan of boiling water for a few seconds. Immediately turn over onto the serving plate and tap to release the Panna Cotta. You may need to repeat the dip a few times, but it will un-mould eventually. I promise!
Note: For a fresh cherry sauce, un-pit and chop up a handful of cherries and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and a dash of rum or whisky, mixing well. Leave for an hour and then serve. For a peach or mango purée, blend the flesh of the fruit with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cream and serve. Use any fruits or sauces – the plain Panna Cotta takes on any flavor really well :)