Yoghurt and Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

I’m not really sure whether this is a terrine or a panna cotta, but panna cotta, but the name really doesn’t make  a huge amount of difference for our purposes. Although according to wikipedia – so it must be true – a panna cotta is an Italian “dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatine and molded.” This both sweetened cream, gelatine, and is molded. Tick, tick and tick.

Anyways, thanks to the yoghurt it’s not as heavy as a pannacotta normally is, and thanks to the vanilla and lime rind, it’s also not as sweet.

Sadly there are no photos as these looked crap on the plate – white on white with just a little interest from the yellow of the passion fruit pulp on top…boring. But then, I’ve never pretended to be a food stylist. It’s how they taste that matters…

This recipe makes 6 small panna cottas. What you can do is double the recipe and pour it into a (cling film lined) larger container (like a loaf tin or a small ice cream container?) and scoop it out instead.

What you need…

  • 300ml cream. I get ours from the markets – it’s local, and it’s good.
  • ¼ cup sugar. If you have a real sweet tooth you can add more, but this amount is, I think, fine.
  • 2 – 3 strips of lime peel. Cut this with a vegetable peeler so you have no pith
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence – or a vanilla bean if you have any in the pantry
  • 2 sheets gelatine – I used titanium strength
  • 300ml greek style yoghurt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp passionfruit juice (no pulp)
  • Extra passionfruit pulp to serve

What you do with it…

  • Heat the cream, lime rind, vanilla and sugar in a small pan. Bring it just to a simmer, take out the lime rind, and remove it from heat.
  • Soften the gelatine sheets in cold water for a few minutes until they’re all squidgy. Squeeze out all the excess water and stir into the hot cream. Whisk in the yoghurt, passionfruit juice and lime juice until it’s smooth.
  • If you’re using individual molds, line these with cling film. I find this a real palaver in that it leaves little marks on the panna cotta from where the plastic is uneven. You can pour it straight into the cold and hope you can get it out in one piece without resorting to hot water and potentially melting it – I’ll leave that choice with you.
  • Serve with passionfruit pulp.

Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

Max (Maxine) Henderson is the star of  Wish You Were Here. She writes a monthly column for Blossom and Buds- a garden centre in Brookford- about what’s in season and what you can do with it.

I invited Max along today to share with us her chocolate bread and butter pudding- actually, it’s the one that her mother makes whenever she needs to break some bad news, help Max feel better about something, or stimulate conversation. Max says it’s a little like a chocolate-y truth serum. Sadly, my food styling and photography isn’t a patch on hers, but  bad photos aside, this is seriously one very good chocolate bread and butter pudding.

Over to you, Max…

As we know only too well, we can still get the occasional cold spell at this time of the year. To cover you for those inevitable early spring grey days- or just if you need some deep comfort, I’ve managed to convince my mother to part with her chocolate bread and butter pudding recipe. If possible, it’s best to start this one the day before you intend to look it, but let’s be honest- when these moments hit, they don’t tend to come with prior notice. You’ll need some bread- about half a loaf. White bread is the most obvious choice, but torn up croissants or brioche would work well too. Mum does hers with fruit bread to give the end result a sort of rum and raisin taste. Cut it in the usual way that you would for an ordinary bread and butter pudding- halves or quarters- and put aside.

For the chocolate, you’ll need most of a 200g block of dark chocolate- allowing a row for taste testing, of course. Chop it roughly and place it into a bowl with a 300ml carton of thickened or double cream, a good slosh (or three) of rum, 75g butter and around ½ cup caster sugar. If you want, you could even add a pinch of orange zest or a shake of cinnamon to jazz it up some more. Melt it all over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir it until it’s silky smooth. Now it’s time for the eggs- you’ll need three. Whisk them in a separate bowl and then pour the chocolate over the eggs, whisking as you go.

Pour a thin layer of the chocolate over your pre-greased tin and layer the bread evenly over this. Now add more chocolate, and another layer of bread, plus the last of the chocolate. Press the bread down until it’s all covered with chocolate. Don’t worry too much if some of the bread pokes up- it adds an extra texture once it’s been cooked.

Now, pop some cling-film over it and place it into the fridge for as many hours as you can. This is the part that you’re supposed to do the day before.

img_8922

Before you wash the bowl, sneak a taste. Isn’t that the best chocolate sauce you ever tasted in your life? It’s always reminded me of the rum balls Mum makes at Christmas.

When you are ready to cook it, do so in a moderate oven for 30-35mins. All it needs now is a few minutes to sit, and some pouring or ice cream…or custard…for the top.

You’re welcome.