Panna Cotta is my mother’s favourite dessert, and because Mother’s Day is fast approaching I thought it would be nice to make. She has eaten at so many beautiful restaurants around the world, but there seems to be one particular standout panna cotta that captured her heart!
She describes it as “incredibly light, scented with rose water, strawberry fruit salad, and pistachio praline - all served in a large martini glass”. With this brief, I attempted to encapsulate the elements of her panna cotta in a way that showcases seasonal and local ingredients. When I made the recipe, fortunately strawberries were at their best, and sweeter than ever! I replaced the strawberry fruit salad with a colie to give it my own personal signature. To address the ‘incredibly light’ factor, I used Greek yoghurt as the base of the panna cotta. I wanted to give it a very fresh taste, so I added quite a lot of orange zest to the yoghurt mixture. The verdict - a refreshing and indulgent dessert, and an absolute hit with the friends and family!
Mum will be in Cambodia on this Mother’s Day visiting my sister who is working as an intern on the prosecution of the people involved in the Khmer Rouge, no less! Not to worry - mum’s my biggest fan, and gets way too much joy out of reading my blog posts. I’m sure she’ll read one of my articles on Mothers Day, just to remind her of me - her favourite daughter!
Love you mum, happy Mother’s Day! x
100 ml cream
350 ml milk
140g caster sugar
Zest of 2 orange
2 vanilla pods split and scraped
6 leaves of gelatin
500 g greek yoghurt
2 x punnets of strawberries washed, topped and halved
100 g caster sugar
1 leaf of gelatin
50g pistachios, coarsely chopped
100g caster sugar
Place the gelatin leaves in a small bowl with cold water to soften them.
In a pot over medium low heat, pour the milk, cream, sugar, orange zest and both the vanilla seeds and pods. Stir the mixture until it has just warmed through but do not allow it to boil. It will take just 2-3min. Remove from heat and take out the vanilla pods and discard them.
Remove the softened gelatin sheets from cold water and squeeze them in your hand to remove excess water. Mix the gelatin sheets in the warm milk for a minute until they dissolve.
Place the yogurt in a bowl and whisk in the warm milk- gelatin mixture until totally incorporated. Pour the mixture in panna cotta molds or teacups and place them in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
For the strawberry colie place the gelatin leaf in a bowl with some cold water. Place the strawberries and sugar into a medium sized saucepan. On a medium heat stir the strawberries for 5 or so minutes until the strawberries begin to soften and the sugar has melted. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Squeeze the gelatin leaf to remove excess water, place into the colie stir until the gelatin leaf has dissolved. Let the colie cool for 10 minutes or so. Bring the panna cottas out of the fridge and fill each glass with a 1.5 centimetres of strawberry colie. Look at the edge of the glass to measure roughly 1.5 centimetres. Put them back in the fridge to set completely.
For the praline, scatter the pistachio nuts over a lightly greased piece of foil on a baking tray. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar with 4 tbsp cold water over a medium heat and boil until it caramelises and is golden in colour. Pour over the pistachios and leave to cool. Once cool, break into pieces.
Top each panna cotta with a few pieces of the pistachio praline and serve!