Who says desserts have to be heavy? Sweet, delicate and deliciously creamy, the panna cotta is my go-to solution for when I’m in the mood for something beautifully light and refreshing at the end of my meal. Easy-to-make and even easier to eat, it’s the perfect finishing touch for when you want an indulgent treat without the guilt-factor.
The traditional Italian version uses a simple milk, cream and gelatine recipe; lightly baked, set, and then turned out on a plate with a tantalising wobble. To avoid extra stress in the kitchen, I prefer to set mine in pretty glassware and serve them straight from the fridge. I also commit another sacrilege to purists everywhere by incorporating whatever fruit I happen to have laying around, blending it into a puree or jelly for an extra hit of flavour to offset the cream.
For this version I also folded in a few dollops of strawberry and rhubarb yogurt. It’s a great way to add some instant intensity without compromising the fragile texture of the mixture.
280ml Double Cream
150ml Rachel’s Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt
1 Sachet Gelatine
3-4 tbsp Icing Mixture
1 Vanilla Pod
2-3tbsp Frozen Mixed Fruits
2tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Sachet Gelatine
Begin by making up a batch of jelly. Using a blender, roughly blend the frozen fruits into a juice. Add one pack of gelatine to 400ml just-boiled water, whisking vigorously until granules have dissolved. Combine both mixtures and pour into the bottom of your containers, placing in the freezer to set quickly.
For the panna cotta, place the double cream and milk into a saucepan, bringing to the boil. Score open the vanilla pod and add to the mixture, leaving it to gently simmer for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, make up about 2 tablespoons of gelatine mixture using the same method as before.
Take the cream mixture off the heat and leave to cool down slightly for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve to remove the vanilla pod, then mix in the gelatine and fold in the yoghurt.
Pour the mixture over the set jelly and leave to set for an hour or so in the fridge. Use fresh fruit to decorate the glasses when ready to serve.