Summer time, and the livin’ is tasty! We celebrated a belated Father’s Day last night, and dinner was sublime. It was a group effort, with lots of bumping into one another in the kitchen, lots of “king’s tasters” and then — poof! Dinner was gone.
But I was in charge of dessert (not so selflessly). As dinner was fish-related (stay tuned for THE recipe to follow soon), I thought a more decadent dessert wouldn’t put us over the edge.
And that is why I decided to make Nigel’s rosewater yogurt panna cotta (as it turns out, rose-related panna cotta seems to be on food bloggers’ minds across the globe as Sally can attest to). I adore his book, The Kitchen Diaries, year round, but especially during the summer because his style of cooking is about grabbing a few leaves of this from the garden, tossing it with a bit of that and finishing it with the other. Fresh and delicious.
The thing is that most panna cotta is extremely rich. It is, after all, cooked cream . . . literally. And though I could bathe in a tub of cream and drink it straight, it can sometimes be tough to really enjoy the entire dessert if it gets to be too rich. Well, leave it to Nigel. Instead of only cream, he uses quite a bit of yogurt, which is just brilliant. It cuts the richness, and adds a bit of tang which somehow allows you enjoy the the rose flavour that much more.
If you have never cooked with roses or anything rose-related, DO IT. It’s heavenly, and, then a few petals off my Ingrid Bergman rose bush served as the perfect garnish. I opted not to add any fruit to finish although Nigel recommends a passion fruit purée. I think the yogurt and rosewater are more than enough to keep it interesting.
Rosewater Yogurt Panna Cotta
recipe by Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries
Note: my notes on the steps follow in italics — SK
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 vanilla pods
- 1.5 gelatine sheets
- 4-5 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar (I use 5)
- 2 and 1/2 tsp. rosewater
- 2/3 thick, creamy yogurt (plain, whole milk yogurt)
- Put the heavy cream and milk into a small saucepan. Split the vanilla pods down their length and scrape out the seeds with the point of the knife. Stir the seeds into the cream (and pods), then set the pan over a moderate heat and simmer for five or six minutes (bring to a simmer then time 5-6 minutes). During this time the mixture will reduce a little. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Within a few minutes they will have softened to a slippery, rubbery shape.
- Remove the cream from the heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Once it has dissolved, add the drained gelatine and the rosewater.
- Pour through a sieve into a bowl, and discard the pods and debris.
- Fold in the yogurt. Pour the mixture through a sieve balanced over a jug, then pour into six demitasse cups and leave to cool.
- Once the panna cotta is cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till set (plan on about 5 hours or better yet, overnight). Turn out and serve with berries or fruit purée. (I prefer not to turn them out of their cups, but the choice is yours!).
- Makes 6, but will keep in the fridg for a day or two.