I’ve recently discovered how easy Panna Cotta is to make. And, I’m getting fat! It really is simple posh nosh if you add some fresh fruit, some kind of liqueur or alcohol or caramelised nuts as I have done here. This rather Christmassy dish has been entered into the MSC pudding competition, but it’s good enough to share I think.
Rum and Raisin Panna Cotta with Nut Crunch
2 oz raisins soaked for at least an hour or two in a spoonful of spiced rum
8 fluid oz of double cream
4 fluid oz of full cream milk
1 vanilla pod split in half, seeds removed but retained.
1 tablespoon of caster sugar (or you could use vanilla sugar and not use the vanilla pod)
1 dessertspoon of spiced rum
3 sheets of leaf gelatine
For the buttered nuts
About 3-4 oz of mixed nuts. I’ve used walnuts and chestnuts, but I rather like the idea of some hazelnuts
2 oz butter
3 oz demarara sugar
1 tablespoon spiced rum
To make the pana cotta
Soften the leaf gelatine in warm water
Heat the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla in a small pan till it reaches simmering point.
Turn off the heat
Take the gelatine out of water and squeeze dry then add to the cream mix and stir in well till it melts
Add the rum
Strain the mixture through a small fine sieve to remove the vanilla and seeds, and pour into metal pudding moulds or ramekin dishes
Put in the fridge to set for 30 mins, then add the raisins
Then leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
To make the buttered nuts
Melt the butter with the demarara sugar in a heavy bottom pan till all the sugar has dissolved. Then add a tablespoon of rum. Stir in the nuts and continue to boil till the toffee reaches wrinkle point when tested on a cold saucer (you can spot this because the mix will start to darken). Be careful not to burn it. Note, it sounds like a lot of rum, but the alcohol will burn off in the cooking process.
Take each nut or nut piece out and place on non-stick baking parchment for at least an hour to set.
Put each panna cotta mould into a bowl of very hot water so the water reached about 2/3 of the way up the side.
Count to 20!
Now invert the mould on a dessert plate and the pannacotta should come out.
If you are a little nervous, you can loosen the edges before you do that with a round bladed knife.
Decorate with the nut pieces.
If you are making this for children or people who don’t consume alcohol, the rum in the panna cotta can be replaced with a little orange zest and the raisins soaked in orange juice and the buttered nuts can be made without the rum.