Smooth and creamy with a slight wobble, panna cotta is the perfect dinner party dessert and so simple to make. The classic Italian version involves little more than cream, milk and sugar set with gelatin but here we’ve added a little nut paste and cocoa powder to create a beautifully rich, clean flavour. Prepare the creams in advance, pop them into the fridge to set and you’re good to go! The recipe and pictures are by Littleloaf for WhyNut.
2 x 2g leaves leaf gelatin
125ml full fat milk
325ml double cream
65g caster sugar
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 ½ tbsp WhyNut hazelnut paste
- Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for 4 – 5 minutes. Lightly oil the inside of four dariole moulds.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, double cream, caster sugar and cocoa powder and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
- Squeeze any excess water out of the gelatin leaves and add them to the warm milk mixture, stirring to combine. Whisk in the hazelnut paste and pass through a mesh sieve.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared moulds and leave to cool before covering with cling film and refrigerating for at least an hour, until set.
- To serve, remove the panna cotta from the fridge, take off the cling film and dip the bottom of the mould in hot water for a couple of seconds to loosen. Invert the mould onto a plate, giving it a sharp tap to help release the panacotta.
- Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder or see tips below for more serving options.
- Leaf gelatin is preferable to powdered as it gives a firm, clean and tasteless set to the panna cotta, allowing the other flavours to shine through.
- Make sure both the caster sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved in the milk mixture for a perfectly smooth, set panacotta.
- For a slightly lighter version, try using a little more milk and a little less cream, or omit the cocoa powder for a pure hazelnut flavour. You can also substitute the hazelnut paste with pistachio paste to make an equally delicious dessert.
- Oiling the moulds is the key to perfectly turned out panna cotta. If you’re worried that it won’t turn out, you can also serve this dessert in ramekins without unmoulding
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