Mascarpone Pannacotta is amazing with salted caramel and hazelnuts. And you can make it the day before!
Summer has now past us by in the Southern Hemisphere, but of course it is only just beginning in the North….. lucky you. It is now quite cool and a tee-shirt is no longer enough clothing required when leaving the house in the morning. In Australia, as a rule the sun is very strong whether it is summer or winter, we coat our children in sunscreen and dress them in sleeves and shorts for swimming, trying to protect them as long as we have control. During the years when they think they are bullet proof, and summers seem endless, we usually have to remind them on a daily basis to cover up, and sometimes need to remind ourselves to be vigilant checking our skin for growths and marks.
Several of my friends have found marks that have resulted in scary surgery in the last couple of months. One has had a large section of her forehead cut out and the other a large patch of skin on her arm. With this in mind I booked an appointment at the skin clinic with a small mark on my arm that has been there for a while…… it was definitely skin cancer ( in my mind).
After a busy week I got a reminder on my iphone…… 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 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 as I age !
This is a dessert worth eating when you want to celebrate life…ie …..all the time…..and especially when you want to move on from alarming experiences
Mascarpone Pannacotta, Salted Caramel, Pears & 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 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, cream vanilla and sugar into a pot and heat till the sugar has just melted. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir till dissolved. Cover and refrigerate till just cool. Gradually whisk this milk mixture into the mascarpone in a medium bowl. 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 a 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.
Hazelnuts and Chocolate biscuit crumbs…………………………………..