Several times a year, Mr Sat Night meets up for a leisurely lunch with his former colleagues who take one look at a dessert menu and say -‘well we all know what Jack’s having..’ Jack always, but always, has the sticky toffee pudding (and who can blame him?).
Well, I’m a bit like that with Panna Cotta, especially ones with unexpected addition or flavours. I find it very hard to go past it on a dessert menu. I tried to make it once, and frankly it wasn’t a success – I think I was too hung up on the amount of cream in the recipe, and that whole bain-marie thing. However I saw this recipe for a lower-fat version in a recent Good House-keeping, and decided to have another go. I was pretty happy with the results..
EQUIPMENT: This recipe makes 4 portions, but you can easily double it.
- a large measuring jug
- blender (I used my trusty old hand blender)
- Dariole moulds (see notes)
- Hand whisk
- Fine sieve
- 200g blueberries
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 3 leaves of gelatine
- 75mls hot milk
- 284mls buttermilk
- A teaspoon of Vanilla paste
- 150g low fat Greek yoghurt
- Light vegetable oil
- Lightly oil the moulds and set aside
- Put the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice into the saucepan and heat, until the blueberries pop, the sugar is dissolved, and the juices run.
- Divide the blueberry mix in two – set one portion aside (it will be the sauce when serving)
- Blitz the remaining half and then strain through a fine sieve. Discard the leftover blueberry mush. Set aside.
- Put the gelatine sheets to soak in enough cold water to cover them.
- heat the milk until just simmering, then squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add to the warm milk – stir in until it’s fully dissolved. Set to one side.
- Put the yoghurt, vanilla paste and buttermilk into a bowl or jug, and stir together until combined.
- Add the cooled milk/gelatine mixture and stir in.
- Add the blueberry coulis and mix through until your mixture is a beautiful purple colour.
Divide this between the prepared moulds, then put in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or until well set.
They’ll keep for a day or two like this.. (Cover them with cling film to avoid accidents in the fridge)
- Have your serving dishes laid out beside you.
- Pour some almost-boiling water into a wide, flat-bottomed dish
- Put each mould in turn into the water for 5-10 seconds ( try 5 seconds first, and see if they turn out easily, then up to 10 as the water cools) They are really very easy to unmould. They take a little longer if they’ve been in the fridge overnight, but persevere, all will be well.
- Pop each one into the middle of each plate (I’m hopeless at this bit!)
Put a spoonful of the reserved sauce over each one, and serve.. ( Sometimes I like a little drizzle of cream as well)
- Dariole moulds – mine are old, made of aluminium and worked really well for this recipe. They hold about 6fl.oz or 175ml, so you should look for something that holds that amount. There are bound to be silicon versions on the market. They are a one-time-only purchase; in other words, if you buy them today, you’ll still be using them in 20 years time.
- My daughter and I were discussing this recipe on the phone this evening – we both, independently, came up with fresh mango as a suggestion for an alternative flavouring. I also think that raspberries would be good. If I get around to trying variations, I’ll put some pictures up here.
- Variation 1: I tried this recipe with raspberries, and I was worried that there was too much liquid so I put the drained coulis back into the (washed) pan and let it reduce a little. It’s a paler colour than the blueberries, but very pretty, and tasted delicious too..