vegetable oil, for brushing
2 sheets of leaf gelatine
300ml double cream
100ml whole milk
75g honey, plus extra for serving
seeds from ½ split vanilla pod
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Honey and Vanilla Panna Cotta
SERVES: Makes 4
I know this might not be light on calories but I wanted to make a panna cotta without table sugar and this works! I used to avoid any recipe that mentioned gelatine for some reason, but once I plucked up the courage to try it I found it was no trouble at all. Vanilla pods were another thing that worried me and I always used to use vanilla extract instead, but I’ve discovered that the extract contains sugar. So I’ve conquered my fear of the pods, which give a fantastic sweetness to a dish. Sometimes you add a whole pod for flavour but it’s usually just the seeds. Simply run a spoon or your thumb down the middle of the split pod and scrape the little black seeds into your mixture.
1. Prepare 4 ramekins or moulds by brushing the insides with a little vegetable oil and then lightly wiping them over with kitchen towel.
2. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water.
3. Put the cream, milk, buttermilk and honey in a saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod, then heat gently, stirring until the honey has melted. Leave to cool a little, then take the gelatine from the bowl, squeeze out the water and add the gelatine to the cream mixture. Stir over a gentle heat until the gelatine is completely dissolved but do not let the mixture boil.
4. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug, then divide it between the ramekins. Leave them to cool, then chill for at least 4 hours by which time they should be set.
5. To serve, dip the ramekins into some very hot water for a few seconds, then turn the panna cottas out on to plates. If you like, drizzle them with some extra honey before serving.