If you are asking who took a spoonful from this delicious dessert, well, look no further – it was me!
By simply looking at this picture you can understand how fantastically tempting this dessert is.
Flawless, smooth, vanilla-scented cream followed by a vibrant fuschia wine sauce enriched by deep purple fruity berry bites.
In my defence, if I must, I can say that:
1) I cook only what I like.
2) I personally take the pictures of my food.
3) There are only so many shots that I can take of a wonderful looking panna cotta without falling into temptation…
I love preparing panna cotta because once you have mastered the technique to beautifully cook the cream and agar agar together you can add nearly any sweet or even savoury flavour to it and end up with a magnificent dessert or a delicate, unique starter.
I want to share with you the recipe of one of my most recent and best-selling versions – Vanilla and yoghurt panna cotta with Marsala wine and blueberry sauce.
For my panna cotta I use agar agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatine. Cooking with agar agar can be a little bit more fiddly to start with but once perfected the flavour in your panna cotta will be even better. There is none of that chalky, jelly aftertaste or old-fashioned, stiff, aspic texture. Just a pure creamy texture that miraculously is able to stand upright, beautifully accompanied by a neverending choice of sweet flavours.
Without any further ado and in order to stop conspicuous salivation here is the recipe:
Vanilla and yoghurt panna cotta with Marsala wine and blueberry sauce
Ingredients for the panna cotta:
- 500 ml whipping cream
- 60g caster sugar
- 125g natural flavour bio-yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon of agar agar flakes
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 50ml Marsala wine
- 50g caster sugar
- 150g washed but not dry blueberries
Instructions for the panna cotta:
- Combine the cream and the sugar and pour into a medium-size saucepan.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and stir for 5 minutes without boiling.
- Turn off the heat and scatter the agar agar on top of the panna cotta.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Stir the agar agar and bring the mixture once again to a gentle simmer.
- Once the panna cotta is simmering keep stiring it for a further 5 minutes making sure again that you don’t let it boil.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes or until it is just luke-warm.
- Once the panna cotta has cooled pass it through a fine sieve. Use a spoon to push through the remainder of the softened agar agar.
- You shouldn’t have too many agar agar flakes at the bottom of the pan. If you do then warm the whole mixture again and let it simmer for a bit longer.
- Add the natural flavour bio-yoghurt to the sieved panna cotta.
- Finally, stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour into 4 containers, cover them and refrigerate.
- Leave in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, until set.
Instructions for the Marsala wine and blueberry sauce:
- Pour the Marsala wine into a small saucepan and stir in the sugar.
- Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Add the blueberries.
- Without using a spoon or a spatula, gently shake the pan in a circular movement to make sure that all the blueberries are coated with the Marsala wine syrup.
- Let the blueberries simmer for a further couple of minutes then turn off the heat and let them cool.
I normally prepare the panna cotta one day in advance, followed by the Marsala and blueberry sauce just before serving.
I think that the contrast of the cool panna cotta and the gently warm, syrupy sauce finish of this dessert beautifully.
What do you think?