Raspberry Panna Cotta [覆盆子意式奶冻]

Friday, 25 November 2016

Panna cotta, at its most basic, is just milk and cream jelly. The jelly may be served as it is, but that'd be quite boring.

How to liven up plain panna cotta?

Make it heart-shaped. Make it in bright colours.

Looking good is half the battle won. Tasting good is the other half.

Raspberries work like a charm in panna cotta. They brighten the blandness of milk and cream with a tart fruitiness. In return, the milk and cream tone down the sourness of raspberries. One would be lesser without the other.

Heart-shaped panna cotta is perfect when you want a light dessert. Why? Because the glass looks like it's filled to the brim, but it's actually half empty. There's really not much in there! And 3/4 of what's there is just juice, milk and water.

Here are a few good-to-knows that you might want to know:

1. How much gelatine powder to replace gelatine leaf?
That depends on your gelatin powder's Bloom number. To replace 1 gelatine leaf with gelatine powder, use:

2.5 g or 3/4 tsp for Bloom 160-180
2.0 g or 2/3 tsp for Bloom 190-225

2. What is Bloom number?
All gelatines have a Bloom number to indicate their quality of gel strength, taste and clarity. The higher the number, the better the quality.

3. How to bloom and melt gelatine powder?
Place the powder in a bowl. Sprinkle with just enough room temperature water to wet it thoroughly. (For 2 g powder, use 6 g water). Place the bowl in a hot water bath, and proceed as in the recipe below.

4. Where can you buy gelatine leaves?
Supermarkets, baking supply shops (Bake King, Phoon Huat, etc), and online (bakeking.com.sgamazon.comtaobao.comparknshop.com, sainsburys.co.uk, etc).

5. Why do I use frozen instead of fresh raspberries?
Because they're much cheaper than fresh raspberries. The 1 kg pack I buy is S$13.70 (about US$10). Fresh ones are S$6.50 for 170 g.

6. Can you use fresh raspberries instead?
Sure. But you can't mash fresh raspberries with a spatula.

7. What can you use instead of raspberries?
It's a free world. Please feel free to use whatever you like.

8. Can you use water instead of milk? Milk instead of water? Milk instead of cream? "Something" instead of milk? Whole milk instead of full-fat milk? "Normal milk" instead of full-fat milk? Etc instead of etc?
Please refer to point #7.



RASPBERRY PANNA COTTA
(Recipe for 2 persons)

Cream jelly
1 gelatine leaf, soak in ice water till soft
1/2 tbsp sugar
80 g full-fat milk, room temperature
80 g dairy cream with 35% fat, cold

Raspberry jelly
1 gelatine leaf, soak in ice water till soft
1 tbsp sugar
60 g water, room temperature
140 g frozen raspberries
thaw, mash and sieve to yield 100 g juice

1. To make cream jelly, squeeze gelatine leaf to remove excess water.
Place in bowl. Place bowl in hot water bath. Add 1/2 tbsp sugar. Stir till gelatine and sugar dissolve. Add half of milk. Stir thoroughly. Add remaining milk. Stir thoroughly. Remove bowl from water bath. Add cream. Stir thorougly. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

2. To make raspberry jelly, squeeze gelatine leaf to remove excess water. Place in bowl. Place bowl in hot water bath. Add 1 tbsp sugar. Stir till gelatine and sugar dissolve. Add half of water. Stir thoroughly. Add remaining water. Stir thoroughly. Remove bowl from water bath. Add raspberry juice. Stir thoroughly. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

3. To assemble, rest two 8 x 7 cm glasses at 45º angle. Fill 1 glass with cream jelly. Fill other glass with raspberry jelly. Refrigerate both glasses till jelly is set, about 2 hours.

4. Leave remaining jelly at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate to chill but not set.

5. When jelly in glasses is set, turn glasses 180º vertically. Fill cream jelly glass with remaining raspberry belly. Fill raspberry jelly glass with remaining cream jelly. Refrigerate till set, about 1 hour. Turn glasses upright. Cover. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

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