I had a sudden inspiration to make panna cotta last week while my cousin Melanie was visiting. Before I talk about that, let me introduce Mel…
Mel and I were born the same year, same day AND in the same hospital! Yea, pretty freakish! Have you ever noticed how many late August/September babies there are?! I’ve always put it down to the holiday spirit…If ya know what I mean 😉 Anyway, one of the other things Mel and I share is our undying love for all things culinary. We spend a lot of time doing research and development work on this matter.
So, as I was rambling on about how much I wanted to make a panna cotta, Mel threw out the idea of incorporating tangerines and then I thought incorporating ginger would compliment them well. Sparks and tinkles in our eyes, we quickly moved into the kitchen!
I had never made panna cotta before but I remembered coming across a recipe for basic panna cotta a while back on David Lebovitz blog and which I’ve used for guidance here. Panna cotta is extremely simple and quick to make. It is a combination of cream and sugar with gelatin to help it set. It’s the perfect blank canvas- just colour in your flavours. It’s fantastic for making ahead as you can leave it in the fridge to chill up to two days in advance.
P.S- Happy Holidays everyone! x
Ginger Panna Cotta with a Tangerine Gelée
Serves: 8 ramekins or 16 cocktail flutes
Time: 15 minutes + rest time of 2 hours or overnight
The Cast of Characters
For the panna cotta
- 1l/32fl oz/4 cups heavy cream
- 100g/ 3 1/2 oz/1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 packets of powdered gelatin (make sure they amount to 1 1/2 tbsp)
- 6 tablespoons of warm water
For the tangerine gelée
- 3 tangerines- remove the white membranes to reduce bitterness
- 3 tbsp of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp powdered gelatin (or Agar for vegetarians)
- 2 tbsp warm water
For the caramelized tangerines
- 6 -7 tangerines
- 3-4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp orange liqueur (Cointreau) or for non-alcoholic use orange blossom water (found in Middle Eastern stores)
- Cashews, optional
Heat the cream, ginger and sugar in a saucepan over a medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. (Ginger has an enzyme that interferes with the gelatin. Heating the ginger destroys the enzyme.)
Remove and set the cream mixture aside. In a separate, medium-sized bowl add the water then sprinkle over the gelatin. Stir well and then leave it to set a little for no more than a couple of minutes.
Now pour the cream mixture over the gelatin and stir until everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps.
Quickly dab a paper towel with some neutral tasting oil, like vegetable oil and lightly oil the ramekins or glasses. Now, fill the glasses with the mixture, leaving about 2 inches for the topping. Transfer the filled glasses to the fridge and leave them for to set for about 4 hours or overnight. When the panna cotta has set and is firm, you can decide to either garnish the glasses as I have done or you could also invert them onto a serving plate by running a knife around each panna cotta and then flipping it upside down onto the serving plate. This latter option would work nicely if you’ve used a ramekin.
While the panna cotta sets in the fridge start prepping the tangerine gelée. Add the peeled tangerines and powdered sugar to a food processor or blender and blitz for a minute or two. Run the blitzed mixture through a sieve that has been secured over a mixing bowl, for example, to remove any pith, retaining only the juice.
In a separate bowl, add the warm water then sprinkle over the gelatin before mixing really well to remove any clumps. Now add the gelatin mixture to the tangerine juice, mixing well to remove any clumps and then transfer to the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
Next, add the tangerines and sugar to a sauté pan over medium heat and caramelize them for about 1 minute or so, tossing often. Then add the orange liqueur and allow it to evaporate. Remove and set aside to cool.
When you’re ready to serve garnish with the tangerine pieces, drizzle with the gelée and sprinkle with some cashews.