Boiled Cream Pudding

Panna Cotta

Among the selection of Piedmontese desserts that Giorgio Rocca serves on a big plate to end the meal, Panna cotta is one of the most memorable. This version of a basic custard is very thick and creamy, with a rich, smooth flavour and a very silky, slippery texture. It should be quite pale yellow in colour and must always be slightly chilled when served. If s very easy to make and is absolutely wonderful to eat. I like to serve it with a dish of soft fruits like raspberries, loganberries or stewed gooseberries to give a contrast of flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ pints (1 litre) single or (double) cream
  • 9 oz (250 g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 sachet gelatine powder
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Method

Put the cream, caster sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and set it over a low heat. Heat until just below boiling point, stirring to melt the sugar completely. Bring the milk to the boil in a separate pan, dissolve the gelatine in it completely and stir it into the very hot cream. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring continuously. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat.

Put the granulated sugar and water into another saucepan and place over a medium heat. Allow this mixture to boil until caramelised, then quickly coat the bottom and sides of 6–8 small moulds with it. Divide the cream mixture evenly between the moulds, cool and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 full day. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to return almost to room temperature before serving.

Variation

Add a fruit liqueur of your choice to the cream mixture.

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