Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Four Layered Farewell Panna Cotta

It is funny how one minute, you are a child, argueing over clothes in the dressing up box with your sisters; and then the next, you have all grown up and are capable of having a conversation that doesn't end up with raspberries being blown or someone saying 'bagsy'.

Although I realise that I probably 'grew up' the quickest out of all of us three girls (married at 22, a baby at 23), I still cannot believe that A is 18 and just making her way into the world of work and that E has a very respectable history degree and is off to a village South of Paris to become an au pair for a year.

It almost makes me sad to think of how fast we grew up and then how quickly M will grow up too.
So whie we enjoy the next stage in M's development - learning some more words and apparently also to quack (show the girl a duck and she 'bac, bac, bac's at you for a minute or two); E is just by Paris settling in with the new family and their two young daughters, learning to speak French!

Jealous much?

We havebeen trying to encourage her GCSE French out of her by making her watch French films, including La Haine and one of my favourites, Priceless. I love Audrey Tautou in anything she does. She almost persuaded me to go out and buy a bottle of Chanel No.5.........and then I remembered I don't actually like it.

We had a little family goodbye tea for E before she left with carrot cake and a selection of biscuits.
The night before however, E and her boyfriend T came over for a meal and a game of Scrabble.

We served homemade Moroccan spiced aubergine and chickpea burgers (a recipe that requires a bit of tweaking) and homemade chips.
T, for reasons I will never understand, despises cheese and is not a great dairy eater so serving a layered raspberry and blackberry panna cotta for pudding was a bit of a risk.

Seemingly though, it paid off and unfortunately, none of us was forced to finish his dessert for him. M had her own little portion in a little old jar and gobbled up her first taste of Italian dairy heaven.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry and Blackberry Layers (adapted from Evan's Kitchen Ramblings) Makes 5 glasses

For the panna cotta
300ml double cream
150ml full fat milk
75g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract with seeds
3 sheets leaf gelatine
For the raspberry jelly
100g raspberries
25g caster sugar
1 sheet leaf gelatine
For the blackberry and raspberry mousse
150g blackberries and raspberries
20g caster sugar
1 sheet gelatine
120g double cream
For the blackberry coulis
100g blackberries
20g caster sugar

For the panna cotta
Fill a bowl with cold water and place the gelatine sheets in it to soften. About 4mins.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just boils. Remove from the heat.
In another, larger bowl, place the cream, sugar and vanilla extract and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Once the gelatine is soft, remove from the water and squeeze out the excess. Put into the milk and stir to dissolve.
Pour the milk into the cream and stir well.
Pour carefully into the serving vessels and place in the fridge to set for about 3 hours or over night until firm.
For the raspberry jelly
To make the jelly, blitz the raspberries with the sugar and heat half of it over a low heat. Soak the gelatine sheet in cold water until soft.
Squeeze out the gelatine once again and stir into the warm fruit until dissolved. Add the rest of the puree and leave to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, pour onto the top of the panna cotta to create the second layer and return to the fridge for around an hour until the jelly has set.
For the blackberry and raspberry mousse
Blitz the berries together with the sugar and warm half of the mixture in a small pan over a low heat. Soak the gelatine sheet in iced water. When soft, squeeze out the gelatine and stir into the fruit until dissolved. Add the rest of the fruit puree and leave to cool to room temperature.
Whisk the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl and using a rubber spatular, fold the fruit puree in until fully incorporated. Pour onto the top of the jelly layer and return to the fridge to set for another hour.
For the blackberry coulis
Blitz the blackberries and sugar together, then press through a strainer to filter out the seeds.
Spoon on to the top of the penultimate layer and use the back of a spoon to gently help it cover the top.

Incidentally, if you are at all interested, E is having a go at her own blog about her time in Paris. Do pop over and have a read here!


  1. Imagining the duck noises made me giggle. These look beautiful. I love the clever layers and gorgeous colours.

  2. Schmal- Copywrite these pages before someone takes your lovely photos / recipes / words!
    love from bigger M xx

  3. c'est magnifique et joliment présenté
    bravo, j'adore
    bonne soirée

  4. J'aime, j'aime ! Délicious...
    Et l'idée d'un dessert penché me plaît beaucoup.
    Joliment présenté et délicieux.

  5. Perfect! They are very, very beautiful and look delicious!