Friday, 22 February 2013

ALMOND PANNA COTTA

Ridiculously easy to make, I serve this amaretto panna cotta with an almond praline, and an optional drizzle of amaretto spiked caramel sauce, made from a little bit of caramel from the praline and left over cream.

3 sheets of leaf gelatine soaked in a little water for 5 minutes.
250ml double cream
250ml milk
3 tbsp amaretto

For the praline
150g sugar
2 tbsp amaretto
25g flaked almonds, roughly chopped

Makes 4

Begin by gently heating the cream and milk together with the amaretto in a small saucepan. When heated through, but not boiling, take of the heat and stir in the soft gelatine, until dissolved. Pour into 4 ramekins and chill to set in the fridge for at least an hour.

Make the praline by putting the sugar and amaretto in a pan and bringing to boil until it forms an amber caramel. The sugar and amaretto tend to stick together into a blob, so it can take a little longer to entirely melt into a caramel. At this stage I poured a small amount of the caramel into a separate pan, but to the rest add the almonds and until well dispersed. Pour out onto a baking sheet and leave to set, this won’t take long. When set, smash up or chop into a praline.

Optional caramel sauce

Add about 50ml of cream (what I had left from a 300ml tub) to the little, and now hard blob of caramel you have in the separate pan, and turn on the heat. Swirl continuously for a while until the caramel begins to soften and yield into the cream. If you keep going long enough you will get a thick, velvety caramel sauce to serve with the panna cotta. It’s a great way of making something which makes a huge difference to flavour out of little, and using ingredients up.

To serve, turn out the panna cottas onto a small plate, you can dip the bottom of the ramekin in a bowl of boiling water to help with this. Top with the praline and caramel, and enjoy.

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