I would love to say that the salted caramel with Mascarpane Pannacotta may steal the limelight, but you just cannot beat the creamy mascarpone vanilla scented panna cotta. It has just the right amount of sweet, fruit and crunch.
This dessert is all about the smooth creamy Mascarpone
Try this Mascarpone Pannacotta it is amazing BUT, this doesn’t only have creamy pannacotta. It has crunchy hazelnuts, salted caramel and beautifully poached pears. Hey and what about a hint of chocolate? You can make it all a day ahead. Imagine that!
Reasons to love Mascarpone Pannacotta
To skip this story hit the jump to recipe button above.
Summer has now past us by but in Australia, as a rule the sun is very strong both summer and winter. Here, we coat our children in sunscreen and dress them in sleeves and shorts for swimming, trying to protect them from the sun. As teenagers summers seem endless and we have to remind each other to cover up and be vigilant checking our skin for growths and marks.
Several friends recently had surgery to remove growths that have resulted in scary surgery in the last couple of months. With this in mind I booked an appointment at the skin clinic. I had a small mark on my arm that has been there for a while…… I believed it was definitely skin cancer ( in my mind).
After a busy week I got a reminder…… Skin Clinic appointment 4pm (and it was 3pm). I rushed off to have my spot checked…… and this is where this story becomes quite alarming…….for the doctor.
The perfect dessert
The Doctor was a very presentable looking fellow, middle aged but well built, good looking but not overly handsome. After a handshake he had me behind a curtain getting undressed. The curtain had a gap at the bottom. It was enough of a gap so that you could see half of the shins of the person sitting on the bench facing his desk after declothing.
As I sat on the bench, just before the curtain was pulled back I looked down at my hairy legs and nearly died. How had I imagined that a trip to the skin doctor would actually pan out? How had I neglected to be properly presented? The curtain was drawn, and as I stood there in my underwear, my furry legs keeping me warm, I imagined that the floor would swallow me up.
The good news of course was that the small growth I have on my arm is a perfectly normal flat skin wart that grows on people as they age. ……. oh yay, hairy legs and an arm wart!
How to make Pannacotta
What you will need and putting it together
1. The ingredients
Mascarpone, vanilla, cream, milk, sugar and gelatine
2. First thing.
Put the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla into a pot
3. To set perfectly.
Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water
4. Preparing gelatine
Once the gelatine is soft squeaze out the water
- Stir the cream, milk, mascarpone, vanilla and sugar together over a low heat.
- Add the soaked gelatine and stir again till dissolved.
- Pour the melted mascarpone mixture through a sieve into a jug
- Prepare 6 x 150 ml moulds.
- The pannacotta’s can be made in moulds that can be turned out or made in the dish you will eat straight from
- Cover and refrigerate the moulds until they are set.
If you love Pannacotta try these recipes too!
Mascarpone Pannacotta, Salted Caramel, Pears and Hazelnuts
- 250 gm mascarpone
- 250 ml milk 1 cup / 1 US cup +3 Tbsp
- 125 ml cream thickened or heavy (1/2 cup ) 1/2 US cup +2 Tbsp
- 40 gm caster sugar 2 tablespoons |2 3/4 US Tbsp
- 2 sheets gelatine 10 gm total gold or titanium
- 1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 gm caster sugar 1 1/4 cups | US x 1 3/4
- 40 ml water 2 Tablespoons | 3 US Tbsp
- 2 drops lemon juice drops. add to water
- 150 gm butter chopped cold can be salted but watch the amount of salt you add later on
- 125 ml cream thickened ( 1/2 cup) 1/2 US cup + 1/2 Tblsp
- 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt maldon or 1/2 of this for granulated salt
- 200 gm caster sugar (granulated), 1 cup | 7.1 oz or appox 1 US cup
- 250 ml water 1 cup | 1 Us cup + 1 Tblsp
- 250 ml wine white is best or red
- 30 ml lemon Juice juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teasp vanilla extract
- 2 Pears large firm
- 100 gm lightly roasted peeled hazelnuts approx 1/2 cup
- 40 ml oil or less if you prefer, 2 Tablespoons
- 40 gm caster sugar granulated, 2 Tablespoons
- 100 gm chocolate I like dark ( preferably 70 *) 3.5 oz
- You will need 6 moulds approx 150 ml (3/4 cup) size. If you want to turn out the pannacottas as the picture shows you will need to grease them lightly with oil spray or rubbed on. It is easier to work with flexible mould but if fully set you will be able to release the pannacottas from an alternate mould or ramekin too. If not serve in a ramekin or mould of your choice
To make the Pannacotta
- Soak the gelatin in cold water until soft then squeeze out the excess water.
- Put the milk, mascarpone, cream, vanilla and sugar into a pot and heat, stirring to combine and stop any sticking, until the sugar has just melted. Do not boil, just gentle heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the gelatine, stirring until it has dissolved. Strain into a jug and pour into pannacotta moulds. For best results refrigerate overnight and no less than 3 hours in a very coold refrigerator
- Put the sugar (250 gm), water and lemon drops into a pot and mix only until the sugar is moistened and combined. No need to stir further. *The lemon helps prevent the sugar from crystalizing. Stirring once starting to boil will cause crystalization- this is where the sugar suddenly turns grainy. Just shake and swirl the pot
- When the sugar is a deep golden brown and bubbling, remove from the heat and add the cream and let it cool down a little bit. It will be bubbling furiously so stand back when adding. Whisk in the salt and couple of pieces of butter at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated. Taste to check the salt level and adjust if necessary, don't add too much as the salt will take a little while to melt through. You can always add more if you need to. If you use salted butter you do not need to add as much salt. Pour into a container and let it cool. This can be kept in the fridge for weeks. Warm it or let it come to room temperature.
- Peel the pears and dice into even cubes. Only use the most square and perfect ones. Set aside in water that has a squeeze of lemon juice added (This will keep them from browning). I use very crisp to hard pears
- To poach the pears put the sugar, water, wine, lemon and vanilla into a medium pot and bring to a boil
- Turn right down and then add the diced pears. Simmer on very low until the pears just become translucent and are tender. Test with the tip of a knife. Pour into a bowl and cool in the syrup. These can be made a day before you need them
- Preheat the oven to 200C ( 400F). Toss the nuts in the oil and sugar and lay on a lined tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool. These can be made a day before needed.
- Set up a baking paper lined flat tray. Melt the chocolate gently over a double boiler, stirring until just melted. Spread onto the tray with a pallet knife and cool. Break into pieces and keep in the freezer in an airtight container until needed.*Untempered chocolate shapes can melt easily. These shards keep brilliantly well in the freezer- even better than in the refrigerator
Putting it together
- Take the caramel out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (or warm just slightly. Drain the pairs reserving the liquid for something else. Unmould the pannacotta by dipping it into warm water, briefly. Gently run a knife around the outside. Turn the panna cotta onto a plate just to one side, and give it a shake. if it doesn't release put the tip of a paring knife into the side of the pannacotta mould the break the seal and try again. Smear a tablespoon of caramel on the plate. Sprinkle 3-4 pieces of pear and hazelnuts around the plate and finish with a chocolate shard.
- Gelatine is available in different strengths or “blooms”. It’s a bit of a minefield to be honest. Powdered and leaf gelatines all come in different strengths
- If you can’t find leaf gelatine either on line or at a supermarket you will have to substitute it for powdered. There is no exact substitution conversion and the only foolproof way of knowing what the “bloom” or setting quality is is to read the suggested setting instructions on the packet.
- Just like leaf gelatine powdered gelatine needs to be soaked before using.
- Gelatine’s setting qualities diminish when it is boiled so always add it to the hot liquid when it has been taken off the heat. Stir well to make sure it is dissolved and then strain before using to remove unmelted lumps or bits.
- Sheet gelatine is preferred as it dissolves easier
- Always put gelatine into cold water. For sheets make sure you don’t crack it into tiny pieces as these disappear into the water and you lose it. try to soak whole and squeeze out the excess water as soon as it has softened. Put into a bowl and set aside until needed.
- As a very rough rule, you can substitute approximately 1 teaspoon of gelatine to 2 sheets of gelatine, HOWEVER best to read the packet instruction on how much to use.
- This recipe is approximately 500 ml of liquid