04/12/2011

Panna Cotta

Oooh! Dessert?

Yes, new territory!

I am not a huge fan of dessert, quite simply because I like savoury things and I am almost always fully satiated after a starter and main, or an amuse bouche and main course.

There are very few desserts that I have any time for, but my top three are:

Ice Cream
Cheesecake
Panna Cotta

I absolutely adore ice cream. I don't like it all the time, but if we're out for a meal out, socialising, or whatever, when it comes to dessert ... just some ice cream for me.

If I'm pushing the boat out, I'll have some cheesecake. This is one dish I need to make paleo. Served over a biscuit base, set not baked and with a little fruit on top - perfection! Drop the biscuit and we have a paleo cheesecake.

Few desserts excite me any further, but Panna Cotta is that one.

Cream, milk, vanilla and some fruit.

If you're not down with dairy as part of your paleo lifestyle, this really is not for you ... but I would encourage you to consider it - it is a great pack of fat, good dairy and an ideal dish with which to enjoy some berries.

Having primal tastes, the over sugared offerings in hermetically sealed packaging from the supermarket really does not cut it!

Here's how to keep it paleo ...

Warm up cream and milk, or buttermilk. I go for equal quantities of each since I love cream. If you're concerned about using milk, just go for all cream. Maybe experiment with yoghurt, mascarpone, raw milk ... do what you feel is right for you.

Warm up ... don't boil, don't get it frothy, don't get it excited ... just warm it up.

Drop in a dried vanilla stalk to soak, or scrape out the seeds from a fresh stalk and mix into the cream.

Meanwhile, soften some gelatine.

Gelatine comes in many forms, but I like beef gelatine in sheets. The packet will tell you how much you need for the quantity of liquid, but do err just on the slight side - you want that classic wobble, not fully set.

Once softened, and with the cream blend warmed through, squeeze out the gelatine and drop it into the warm liquid.

Stir it through and then pour out into ramekins.

Back up ... you missed that, didn't you?

It's really that simple - soften the amount of gelatine required for the volume you've made and just stir it in. You could add sweetener in, but I don't like to - Panna Cotta done right is pure! Cream ... that's it.

Cool in the fridge overnight and serve up ...

With what? Fruit!

Soften some fruit in some liquor with a little sugar.

Sugar!? Okay ... glucose. I use glucose syrup, or honey.

Honey is natural, but it's still a disaccharide and we can improve. Glucose is useful to the body, and a good sweetener. Just a little - this is a treat!


With regard to honey. Is it primal? Would something like agave nectar be better?

Well, I'll link to a few resources and you can make your own mind up:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-sugar/
http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/agave-nectar-worse-than-we-thought
http://jonnybowdenblog.com/the-truth-about-agave-nectar-it%E2%80%99s-all-hype/

... and so:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-honey-a-safer-sweetener/ ... I tend to think so, but pure glucose is fine.

Purists can leave out the glucose - most fruit is sweet enough anyway, and when combined with a little liquid (go on ... get some vodka, or gin in there) reduces really well. The glucose is really just for the sticky sheen.

With the sauce ready, loosen the Panna Cotta by placing the ramekins into a bowl of hot water.

Drop out onto a plate and spoon over the sweet fruit and accompany with a fine wine - Monbazillac?

5 comments :

  1. Wowwwwww, this looks so good. And easy and simple and full of fat, too! I'll be sure to make it sometime.

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  2. Thanks Andrea. So long as you are happy with dairy in your paleo diet, yes, it's a great dessert full of fat - perfect for after a lean meal, and one which partners up with berries perfectly.

    In this article I mixed cream with whole milk. I have made another batch using half cream and half buttermilk (a cultured milk, like kefir) which I hope will be really sour and perfectly accompanied by some gooseberries I picked last season which are safely stored in my freezer.

    Later, I'll play with all cream and blends with yoghurt and mascarpone.

    Suffice to say, setting the blend is the key. There is no real need to sweeten the mix, but lightening the flavour with vanilla.

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  3. it would be SUPER helpful if you could write this out as a recipe, with ingredients and amounts listed all at once, and then the directions…just a suggestion to make it more easily followed and reproduced. thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Breanna, thanks for dropping by.

      Here you go ...

      Milk and cream in equal portions, gelatine to suit the amount of liquid you have and a slash of vanilla essence. Warm up and pour into moulds. Done.

      As always, it depends upon how much you want to make as to how much you use. Gelatine is not all the same - there are sheets and powdered, and not all require the same amount to set the same amount of liquid. Same with vanilla essence - mine might be more concentrated than yours.

      Here's a hand ...

      Take the ramekins that you are going to use, fill one with water and measure the water. Now you know how much cream and milk you'll use. So, for two, fill the ramekin once with cream and once with milk, pouring into a pan to warm through. You know the volume of the ramekin, so work out the amount of YOUR gelatine that you need for that amount of liquid.

      Recipes are counter-productive when it comes to most cooking, but especially ancestrally-focussed cooking. We should cook with what we have, what is seasonal, local and available. Recipes constrain and frustrate.

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  4. It was great! Made it myself! I used raw cream and coconut milk and coconut cream. Amazing!

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