Sarah was missing… again! This time I wasn’t just harrowed down with work, but I traveled down to Oman to see my childhood bestie. I have known her since Kindergarten, that’s about 22 years which is a LOOOONG time I know. As someone told me recently, she’s not just your friend she’s practically your sister. She came down from the US with her baby who is so so so adorable. It was so refreshing to meet with her after AGES.
And then it was my anniversary weekend. Yup, I have been married for ONE WHOLE YEAR, one whole wonderful year. So to celebrate that, my whole family i.e dad, mum, my sister, mum-in-law, uncle, aunt, cousins (4 of them) and us (Meeth and I) spent the weekend at a resort. We set up a BBQ (Chicken, Ribs, Salmon, Pineapple, Paneer… mmmmm.. nom nom nom), beat the heat by going crazy at the pool, went star gazing at night, basically just had a whole lot of fun. Have I ever mentioned that my parents and I share the same wedding date! Well now you know.
On another note it’s getting REALLY hot outside and I am sure my Indian skin doesn’t need a further tan. This time I feel like we have been hit early and hard by the scorching and unforgiving Dubai Summer. Save us someone, before we MEEELLLTT! Guess I need to start working on some Healthy Summer Drink Recipes now.
On a cheery and tastier note, we made some panna cotta. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which means ‘cooked cream,’ and that is exactly what you have to do, cook the cream. Well not cook per se but basically the ingredients are just warmed enough to dissolve the gelatin and sugar
It is so so so easy to make. It’s not a rich dessert or something that just bursts with flavour. I would call it a dessert that is kind of restrained in nature in terms of flavour, but still has this smoothness and niceness about it. I don’t know if I have made any sense at all but I have no other way of explaining it. The addition of rum I feel is simply genius. You know why it is genius, because Gordon Ramsay did it. So yes, it is adapted it from Gordon.
The hardest part of making this is that you have to wait for it to set. You can’t gobble it is as soon as it’s done. Patience.. is a virtue of which I have very little.
I have used powdered gelatin in the recipe but some people use gelatin sheets as well. We don’t get gelatin sheets in Dubai or atleast I haven’t found it yet. Any Dubai folks reading this do let me know if you find Gelatin sheets locally.
Panna cotta can be with a coulis of berries (like I did), or some caramel or chocolate sauce (I’m not a fan of having it that way). It may be covered with fruit or with liqueurs as well.
Now go, run into the kitchen and get on with making this ultra-easy dessert.
- 1 tablespoons of gelatin
- 250ml double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- 50ml milk
- 15ml dark rum, or to taste
- Raspberry coulis:
- 2½ cups fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar.
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- “Bloom” the gelatin. Here is the process: Sprinkle the powdered gelatin evenly over 2 tbsps of warm water to keep lumps from forming. Set the gelatin aside for a few minutes until it swells or “blooms” as it absorbs the liquid. Melt the gelatin either in a hot water bath or in a microwave (for about 10 seconds on high) until it becomes translucent. Use your fingers to check that all the granules have totally dissolved.
- Meanwhile, put the cream, sugar, milk and rum into a saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Heat gently for 30 seconds, then remove pan from heat. Taste it and add a little more rum if you wish.
- Add the bloomed gelatin mix to the cream mixture and stir until fully dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into four individual glasses or moulds. If you use glasses, leave enough room for the glaze. Leave to cool, then place the glasses/moulds in the fridge to set for at least two hours, or overnight if preparing ahead.
- Purée raspberries with syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.
- Once the pannacotta if set, top each pannacotta with a spoon of raspberry coulis to serve.