I would love to say that the salted caramel with this dessert 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
BUT, this doesn’t only have creamy panna cotta it has crunchy hazelnuts, salted caramel and beautiful poached pears. hey and what about a hint of chocolate? You can make it all a day ahead. Imagine that!
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.
1. The ingredients to make panna cotta. Mascarpone, vanilla, cream, milk, sugar and gelatine
2. Put the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla into a pot
3. Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water
4. Once the gelatine is soft squeaze out the water
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!
- 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 panna cottas can be made in moulds that can be turned out or made in a dish that you can eat straight from
- Cover the moulds with some pastic until they are set.
Mascarpone Pannacotta, Salted Caramel, Pears and Hazelnuts
- 250 gm mascarpone
- 250 ml milk 1 cup
- 125 ml cream thickened (1/2 cup )
- 40 gm caster sugar 2 tablespoons
- 2 sheets gelatine 8 gm total gold or titanium
- 1/2 scrapped vanilla bean
- 250 gm caster sugar
- 40 ml water 2 Tablespoons
- 2 drops lemon juice drops of 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 teaspoon flaked sea salt maldon
- 200 gm caster sugar granulated, 1 cup
- 250 ml water 1 cup
- 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
- 40 ml oil or less if you prefer, 2 Tablespoons
- 40 gm caster sugar granulated, 2 Tablespoons
- 100 gm chocolate dark 1 ( preferably 70 *)
- Soak the gelatin in cold water till soft then squeeze out the excess water. Put the milk, mascarpone, cream, vanilla and sugar into a pot and heat till the sugar has just melted. Do not boil, just gentle heat. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir till dissolved. Strain into a jug and pour into pannacotta moulds. For best results refrigerate overnight
- Put the sugar, water and lemon drops into a pot and mix only till the sugar is moistened. No need to stir further. 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. 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. 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.
- To poach the pears put all of the ingredients except the pears into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn right down and then add the diced pears ( or slices if you prefer). Simmer on very low till the pears just become translucent and are tender. Cool in syrup.
- 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
- To make the chocolate shards. Melt the chocolate gently over a double boiler, til just melted. Spread onto a baking paper lined tray with a pallet knife and cool. Break into pieces and keep in the freezer till needed.