We've created both a traditional and vegetarian version of this silky, versatile dessert; see recipes below. It pairs beautiful with pomegranate jelly or with fresh or cooked fruit. Try combining this with poached pears or stewed apples in the autumn months or fresh berries, peaches or cherries in the summer.
Recipe created by Nourish cook and Dietitian, Clare Gray
Serves 4-8 individual servings depending on the size of the mould used
Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus 4 hours in fridge
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 300ml fresh double cream
- 150ml milk
- 150ml crème fraîche
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 3 x 2g leaves of gelatine or 3 teaspoons (3g) of agar flakes for vegetarians
Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for several minutes and allow to soften completely.
In a medium saucepan over a low heat, add the double cream, crème fraîche, milk and sugar.
Stir occasionally, make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
Bring up to a gentle simmer and then remove from the heat.
Remove the now softened gelatine from the bowl of water and squeeze with your hands to remove any excess water.
Add the gelatine to the warm, cream mixture and stir until completely dissolved.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
Distribute the mixture between Dariole moulds, ramekins or espresso cups. If a small appetite or early satiety (feeling full very quickly) is an issue, make a reduced portion in a smaller container such as an espresso cup to avoid overwhelming.
Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
To remove from the moulds, briefly place each container in very hot water and then turn them out onto serving plates.
Combine the double cream, crème fraîche and milk in a medium sized saucepan.
Evenly sprinkle the agar flakes on top of the cream mixture.
Do not stir or put on the heat but set aside for 15 minutes to allow the agar to soften.
Place the saucepan on a medium heat and bring up to a gentle simmer.
Stir regularly to help the agar dissolve for 5-10 minutes. Check a spoonful of liquid for remnants of agar flakes. If they are still present, cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. At this point, test the texture of the panna cotta. Spoon a small tablespoon of the mixture into a ramekin or cup and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, keep the saucepan covered and whisk the panna cotta mixture occasionally.
If the cooled panna cotta feels too firm, add a small amount of milk to the mixture and stir. As little as a tablespoon may be sufficient. Repeat the test until you are happy with the texture.
Pour through a sieve into a clean bowl.
Distribute the mixture between Dariole moulds, ramekins or espresso cups for a smaller appetite.
Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
To unmould, briefly place the each container in very hot water and then turn them out onto serving plates.
If you are short of time, pour the panna cotta mixture into wine glasses or glass tumblers, so they can be served without unmoulding.
I love to combine this with pomegranate jelly. Halve both of the recipes. Make the jelly first, half fill the moulds or serving dishes with the mixture and set in the refrigerator. This may take several hours. Make the panna cotta mixture as instructed and cool quickly by placing over a larger bowl full of ice and stirring. Fill the remaining space in the moulds or serving dishes with the panna cotta cream and place in the refrigerator again to set. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.