Friday, May 07, 2010

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Warm berries & Honey = Silky Challenge Fail

For this weeks Cookbook Challenge theme of silky I knew right from the very start that I wanted to make my first ever panna cotta.  I flicked through my books & found several recipes & they all seemed to be quite different, some using yoghurt, others coconut cream & then the more traditional (I think, though I am by no means an expert) cream based ones.  I chose a very decadent sounding chocolate panna cotta with berries & honey from Skye Gyngell's My Favourite Ingredients.  I love this book & I love Skye's recipes so I am positive the reason it didnt set properly must have been some fault of mine & not the recipe.  As I said I have never made one before so have no experience in the problems one might encounter.  I let the panna cotta's cool down before I put them in the fridge, they were in for well over the specified 2 hours, the gelatine seemed to dissolve okay so any tips on why one may not set?  They sort of half set & seemed to set more at the bottom (which strangely was the top in the moulds) so if I didnt mix them enough then I would have thought the gelatine would sit at the bottom rather than the top but maybe it is the other way around, am I confusing anyone?

Anyway apart from them not actually setting, the flavour was fantastic, the sauce was heaven as you can imagine, rich chocolate, sweet berries & lovely oozy honey to bring it all together, mmmm, if this had set correctly it would have been an absolute stunner.  Here is the recipe for anyone who is game to try it out & see what happens to theirs, please let me know

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Warm Berries & Honey - Skye Gyngell - My Favourite Ingredients

Serves 4

a little oil, to oil the moulds
200g good quality dark chocolate (minimum 64% cocoa solids)
2 sheets of leaf gelatine
190ml whole milk
250ml double cream
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Berries & Honey

180ml honey
200g blackberries (or any berries you fancy)

Lightly oil 4 individual panna cotta moulds or other pudding basins, 200ml capacity each.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt slowly, without stirring, in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water.  Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.  Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water to cover for about 5 minutes to soften.

In the meantime, put the milk, cream and sugar in a heavy based pan.  Scrape the seeds form the vanilla pod and add these to the pan with the empty pod.  Place over a medium heat & bring to a gently simmer, stirring once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve onto the melted chocolate, stirring well to combine.

If necessary, return the chocolate mixture to the pan & reheat gently - it needs to be very hot but not quite boiling.  ake off the heat.  Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water & add to the hot cream, stirring to dissolve.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug, then pour into the prepared moulds.  Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

For the berries, warm the honey in a small saucepan.  Add 2/3 of the berries & cook gently until they have begun to bleed into the warm honey.  Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining berries.

To serve, quickly dip the base of each mould into hot water to loosen the base & the sides, then run a small sharp knife around the top & invert onto a plate.  Spoon the warm berries over the panna cotta & serve immediately with extra cream on the side if desired.

5 comments: said...

Considering it didn't set, it looks really great in your photo. I'm no expert on pannacotta unfortuantely so can't help with your question....sorry! leigh

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Oh never mind Ange, my silky challenged failed as well! what are the odds?

as long as it tastes good, it isn't a complete fail =)

Agnes said...

Oh I love panna cotta. One of my favourite desserts!

What strength/grade of gelatine leaf did you use? Did the recipe book specify the gelatine leaf grade? It could be why it didn't set if the leaf you used didn't match what the recipe author used.

Ange said...

Hi Agnes, the recipe didnt specify. I used gold strength which is all I can get my hands on, I look everywhere & find it very difficult to even find gelatine in leaf form at all in Melb, nowhere in Brunswick at all & one place in the plaza near my parents house, I should just give up on it!

Anonymous said...

It is best to wait until your mixture starts to thicken before pouring it into the molds. Otherwise, the cream and the milk tend to separate leaving you with a two toned dessert that doesn't set evenly. This may have been what happened to yours.