coffee pannacotta with espresso syrup

31 Jul

This is another recipe from my book of the moment by Katie Caldesi and inspired by the gorgeous meal The Man and I had there recently. I had a trio of panna cotta for dessert; basil, strawberry and coffee with espresso syrup. I’m going to have a go at the basil recipe ( it’s also in the book) at some point but for me it was the coffee one which stole the show.

As The Man will confirm I watch Come Dine With Me a fair bit, and I’m often puzzled by people worrying that their panna cotta won’t set,  it seems to me that as long as you don’t over heat the gelatine and use the right amount of liquid to gelatine ( follow the recipe) they are very simple and quick to make. But maybe it’s easier without the camera crew and group of strangers in your house!

Healthy they are not, these are a calorie laden combination of double cream, sugar, stong coffee and enough gelatine to give a set but soft texture. Nigella once used the phrase ” a hint of inner thigh wibble” to describe the texture of a cheese cake, it makes me cringe but that’s what I am aiming for with a good panna cotta. It is also a warning about what you will end up with if you eat too many of them!The coffee and cream mixture is smooth, creamy and not too sweet with a subtle coffee flavor, the coffee syrup is the opposite; and quite addictive. In a thin, sticky, intensely sweet coffee-ee layer I think it lifts this into my pudding hall of fame. Again it is incredibly easy. I got distracted and forgot the recipe, just throwing 200g of sugar into a pan with 100ml of sugar into a pan and boiling until it had reduced to a caramel and it was fine.

I made the panna cotta in espresso cups, partly as portion and calorie control but also because I think the flavours here work best in moderation. I loved to coffee syrup so much that I’m planning on making a double or triple quantity batch to keep in the fridge to use on ice cream, as a base for ice coffee, cocktails or to add to a glass of cola *whispers* or maybe just to eat with a spoon as a pick me up.

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