My first ‘summer’ dessert for this season is this light yet indulgent white chocolate panna cotta paired with hazelnut spread from Sweetest KitchenPanna cotta is a soft pudding made out of dairy thickened with gelatin [I use agar-agar which is a jelling agent made of out seaweed and, therefore, vegetarian]. Originally from Italy, its name literally means “cooked cream” and it has a remarkably creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The aim is to achieve a balance between the jelling agent and the fat in the dairy ingredients so that it results in a firm set but is still delicate and wobbly. Any combination of milk including coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk can be used bearing in mind that the lesser fat content of the milk, the softer will be the panna cotta. After chilling, the dessert is typically unmolded and served with fruit coulis or drizzled with chocolate/caramel sauce or topped with chopped nuts and chocolate curls.

WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA

Ingredients:

1/2 cup thickened cream

1/2 cup full cream milk

11/2 tablespoons caster sugar

25 g white chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon powdered agar-agar

2-3 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped

1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

25 g white chocolate, shaved

Method:

  • Place the thickened cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until almost simmering but do not let mixture boil.

  • Remove from heat and add finely chopped white chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts.
  • Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle agar-agar over and whisk until dissolved.

  • Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir chopped hazelnuts through the hazelnut spread.
  • Layer 1 tablespoon of spread onto bottom of 100ml capacity serving bowls and smooth.

  • Carefully pour cream mixture, over the back of a metal teaspoon, into each serving glass.
  • Tap the bowls on the counter-top to help even it out and eliminate any large air bubble.

  • Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Remove 10 minutes before.
  • Decorate with remaining 25g shaved white chocolate. Serve immediately. For 4 persons.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta

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