Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bittersweet Seville Orange Panna Cotta

Bittersweet Seville Orange Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is basically a jello made with milk.  Sounds peculiar, but that’s mainly because of the flavours associated with the Jello brand.  Commercial Orange Jello is something like my childhood memories of that super sweet elixir, Orange Crush, but stiffly jelled, without the fizz.

This recipe’s flavours are more orangey caramelised sugar, liqueur and cream than chemical orange, so relax.  And of course, this recipe is strictly for the adults.  Sophisticated adults, that is.

This recipe makes 6 small desserts, is made within ten minutes, but needs about three hours to chill and set completely.

1 ¾ cups whole milk (optionally substitute cream for some of the milk)
1 tablespoon gelatin powder (probably one packet if you buy the common brand.)
2 rounded tablespoons Seville orange marmalade (my recipe is best of course, but a good quality commercial brand will do)
¼ cup Cointreau or other good orange liqueur
extra sugar if required

Creamy milk, Seville marmalade, Cointreau, how delicious!
Easy to put together!
Pour milk into a microwave proof container, or a pot for the stove.  Sprinkle gelatin powder over the milk.  Heat the milk, stirring from time to time, to melt the gelatin and blend it into the milk.  I used just milk, as it's time for me to behave myself.  If you're less disciplined, how wonderful for you!

Stir the marmalade into the hot milk.  Let cool a bit.  Stir in the Cointreau.  Taste for flavour and sweetness.  You can add more marmalade or sugar, but not more Cointreau, because you don’t want to shift your gelatin to liquid ratio.

I poured just one third of a cup per person.
My taste was perfect just with the above ingredients, especially since my marmalade recipe has a vanilla bean and jaggery in it, making it especially gorgeous.

Pour into individual serving dishes.  Refrigerate.

As it’s cooling, if you have one, use a little whipper to make the dessert frothy.  I used mine for a minute on each dessert two or three times while the dessert was setting.  The idea was to fluff this up and make the dessert look bigger.  (Yes, it’s diet time again.)

If you don’t have a whipper, don’t worry.  Traditionally panna cotta has nary a bubble. So no one will gripe if your panna cotta is without bubbles.  You can always divide this mix into four individual dishes if you want to serve a larger dessert.

Battery operated whipper, bought cheaply!
These will chill and set completely within three hours.  I used a sprig of fresh mint leaves for garnish, but if I had small edible flowers, that would be nice too.  In a pinch you could always use a few almond flakes, or even heat a bit of marmalade to dribble a bit of orange syrup atop the dessert. 

Homemade Seville orange marmalade is best, but a commercial marmalade will still offer these tantalizing flavours, especially welcome after a big meal.  

Hmmmn, still have five more Seville oranges to go.  Any advice?

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