Panna cotta Affogato. Pure creamy coffee fun.
This post is supported by Di Bella Coffee. If you are a coffee lover then chances are you have heard of Di Bella coffee.
Coffee is a wonderful thing. I mean it is a legal high. People are addicted to it, yet you can buy it in every neighbourhood. There is a cult of worship for it, some can’t bare to think of life without it, they follow it and love it, yet it is not frowned upon by the church. Some people take a shot before driving, or before working and even after a too much alcohol….and yet no one bats an eyelid. Such is the power and wonder of coffee.
I have used it as a stimulant many times and now blame myself for overdosing on it. I used to drink 7 or 8 a day because during back to back double shifts it can be a crutch and the only one that can keep you firing and alert. It was during a particularly long stretch when working for Rockpool Catering that I overdosed and now have to be very careful with the way I administer coffee to myself. It happened all of a sudden, my crutch became my curse and for some years I was unable to even drink just one a day. How I have suffered……..): No sipping during the day to perk me up and no wake up call in the morning to boost my morale……….
It started after a normal day and 6 or 7 obligatory coffees during the shift. I fell into bed after a 15 hour shift, but sleep was fleeting. Eventually when I did fall asleep I had service dreams the curse of every chef. It’s a feeling that you are on an endless service line of dockets that you can’t keep up with. You can’t cook fast enough and you just can’t seem to make it taste right, people are sending dishes back and you are panic-ing, getting further behind. Yes that’s a service dream. That started happening and each night for a week and a bit I was not sleeping or I was having nightmares. All the while I was coping with double shifts and a small child, and in a short time I was looking haggard…..but still I couldn’t seem to get off my roundabout. I had no idea how to remedy this lack of rest. So, I drank more coffee, to kickstart my waking hours and this in turn was killing me, literally. I discovered it was my overuse of coffee. Oh the pain of both giving up, and not having that boost for the day.
Years of abstinence are behind me. Now I have one beautiful coffee a day and I like it to be good.
The coffee I have from De Bella is from Peru, and like chocolate grown in this country, it has a smoky, fruity quality and it is heavenly good. I didn’t know much about Di Bella before now but it’s an Australian success story and very refreshing that in 2010 they made an enormous business leap establishing headquarters in Shanghai, and a year later launched retail operations in India followed by New Zealand in 2013. That is a brilliant reversal of the usual overseas companies starting up in Australia. The main roast house in Australia is still in Brisbane and freshly roasted beans are dispatched nationally each day.
The job of producing a recipe with the Di Bella coffee was always going to tempt me and I created several including one with slow cooked pork belly. But the idea of a vanilla Panna cotta affogato with Tim Tam straws was the one that stuck.
The Affogato is a dessert that is most synonymous with coffee. It’s simply a scoop of Ice cream with a shot of coffee, and often a liqueur poured over. I wanted to come up with a way to make an Affogato where the coffee remained pure but the dessert lasted longer than the usual ice cream which melts quickly. Boom! Here it is. Add a Tim Tam straw and a few Maltesers and you have everything you may ever need. I had a little trouble with it because I tested a few (!!) and all of a sudden my coffee intake was well past it’s capacity. I haven’t done a lot to the coffee component because I didn’t want to spoil that smoky fruit driven flavour too much. I used beans which I ground and put through my machine. Do you have a capsule machine? Yes? Well Di Bella now makes their coffee into capsules too. Have a look HERE for flavours and ORDERS.
- 350 ml full cream milk (1½ cups / 12 oz )
- 350 ml thickened cream or heavy cream ( 1½ cups / 12 oz )
- 1 tablespoon caster ( superfine) sugar (20 gm / a little over ½ oz)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 leaves of titanium gold strength gelatine (5 gm), 6 x (thinner 2gm) or 3 teaspoons of Davis powdered gelatine
- 250 ml freshly brewed coffee / 1 cup
- 60 ml maple syrup / ¼ cup
- Put the milk, cream, vanilla and sugar into a medium pot and heat on low
- Meanwhile put the leaf gelatine into some cold water and soak till softened. Drain and set aside. To dissolve gelatine powder, sprinkle over the milk mixture and stir till dissolved ( no boiling)
- Once the milk and cream is heated and the sugar dissolved ( no need to boil) add the gelatine sheets and stir till dissolved.
- Strain the mixture into a jug and then into the moulds. Chill for 4 hours but for best results overnight.
- To turn out run a knife gently around the edge of the dish. Turn the dish upside down on uyour palm and sake till it loosens. Then turn back up the right way and put the dish under the pannacotta and shake it out.
- Put the coffee into a pot with the maple syrup and reduce by ½. You should have about 150 ml left or about ¾ of a cup. Cool to room temperature.
- Divide the mixture between the six dishes and cut the bottom of the biscuit off so that coffee can soak up into it.