Continuing on from my last post, featuring food from an Italian dinner party, and also my sister’s birthday feast, here is Guy Grossi’s Panna cotta alla vanilla con fragile e balsamic (Vanilla Panna cotta) also from his beautiful Love Italy book and it was a great success!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Vanilla Bean
3 cups (750ml) pouring cream
100g castor sugar
2 gold-strength gelatine leaves
Cracked black pepper (optional)
aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)
Here’s what you do:
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds and the bean in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups (375ml) of cream and the sugar.
Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then remove the pan from the heat.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes, then squeeze the excess water and stir into the hot cream mixture to dissolve. Strain through a sieve and remove the bean.
Set the vanilla infused cream aside to cool.
Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks. Fold this through the cooled vanilla infused cream.
Spoon into eight 100ml moulds and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, submerge the panna cotta mould in warm water for 10 seconds, (I didn’t have to do this I just ran a knife around the edge) then run a small knife around the edge. Carefully tip out onto a serving plate and sprinkle with black pepper (if desired I didn’t).
I served not with my own strawberry concoction. As as fresh strawberries were not in season I took one packet of frozen strawberries (thawed) and added a few spoonfuls of castor sugar, a splash of vanilla extract, a splash or two of vinocotto and a dash of Cointreau into a saucepan and brought to the boil. Try not to mash down the strawberries too much. Once cooled I served these around the side of the panna cotta.