eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: panna cotta

Limoncello Panna Cotta

Limoncello Panna Cotta

Some years have the pace and mood of a little stream in the woods, burbling along quietly, without anyone really taking any notice of it. And then there are years that are more like a hungry wave, rolling like thunder and hitting the shore with a crash, ready to pull you off your feet and make you tumble in the most unexpected moments. 2017 had quite a few of these moments, whirling and twirling, they shook the world politically, socially, and environmentally, and also my own world on so many levels. It’s exhausting when the ups and downs wear out the mind and squeeze it like a sponge, but it’s also a challenge that forces us to question and grow in our own existence and that’s its gift. I believe that our human mind needs to leave the known path once in a while, our comfort zone, that can easily become too comfortable and that makes us lazy. The irritating state of mess and confusion can be a great starting point to be brave and dive into the unknown, as much as I hate these moments as it’s scary, I’m thankful, afterwards, when they force me to unfold the old, familiar pleats.

Just over 12 months ago, the Eat In My Kitchen book was sent out into the world and little did I know how much it would change my life and the way it used to be. In April 2017, Andrew Zimmern hung the medal for the  James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the General Cooking category around my neck, the state of bursting happiness, surprise, and thankfulness that I felt on that magical night in New York lasts until today. The world also revealed some of its culinary tricks and secrets to me as I travelled in America, Asia, and Europe during autumn. I was on the road for a new project and, for once, I let other people cook for me. I was introduced to the wonders of food in some parts of the world where I had never been before. It was pure bliss to experience new tastes and smells, to listen to unknown languages and learn about traditions and rituals that grew over centuries. And to see so many inspiring women in their kitchens, wherever I was, women who strongly believe in a gastronomic concept of respect and togetherness, women who create praised and highly celebrated restaurants, that made me happy and confident that the future will bring more and more of these fantastic female chefs into the spotlight.

In 2017, we all lost and gained, we gave and took, and as long as the exchange feels balanced, it was a good year. Before I pull the plug and go offline for a week, finally after 4 years of constant buzzing, I have one more thing to give to you: the recipe for this joy-bringing limoncello panna cotta. Now you have a sweet recipe at hand, for the moments when life gives you lemons.

Enjoy food, wine, and especially time with the ones you love, have a happy Christmas and a joyful start to an exciting 2018!

Meike xxx

Limoncello Panna Cotta

 

Limoncello Panna Cotta

Limoncello Panna Cotta

Serves 2 to 4

gelatin sheets 2 1/2 (7 x 11-cm / 3 x 4-inch)
heavy cream 240 ml / 1 cup
whole milk 120 ml / 1/2 cup
Limoncello 60ml / 1/4 cup
lemon peel 2 long strips
granulated sugar 2 tablespoons
fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon
lemon slices, very thinly cut for decoration (optional)
fresh mint leaves for decoration (optional)

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for about 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, milk, Limoncell0, lemon peel, sugar, and salt to the boil. As soon as the mixture is bubbling, take the pan off the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatin sheets, crumble into the warm cream mixture, and whisk thoroughly. Let the mixture cool in the pan, whisking occasionally.

Once the cream mixture is at room temperature—it will still be liquid—divide it between 4 120-ml /4-ounce ramekins. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer the ramekins to the freezer and chill for about 35-45 minutes or until set but not frozen. Alternatively, leave the ramekins in the refrigerator for about 3 hours or overnight.

Decorate the panna cotta with lemon slices and mint just before serving.

Limoncello Panna Cotta

 

Limoncello Panna Cotta

 

Limoncello Panna Cotta

 

Limoncello Panna Cotta

 

Limoncello Panna Cotta

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

If I could choose between a cake or creamy desserts, I think I would always go for the cake. I just love pastries, no matter if it’s buttery shortcrust, flaky puff pastry, soft sponge, or juice-soaked lady fingers in a trifle. The combination of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar is pure magic in my eyes. Since I was a child, I’ve always been the first at the cake buffet when we have our luscious family feasts, and I’m also the last one, when the platters are almost empty.

As I’m the one who’s responsible for sweet treats at home – at least most of the time – we barely get to enjoy the dark depth of a mousse au chocolate, the sweetness of a vanilla scented Bavarian cream or a crème caramel. If my boyfriend could choose, it would be the other way around; we’d have cake maybe twice a year. He loves anything sweet, smooth, and creamy and if I want to spoil him a little, I make a panna cotta. The Italian classic is usually made with heavy cream and milk, but I like to sneak in some ricotta (like I did for my rosewater and pistachio panna cotta), or a little mascarpone, which fits perfectly to the juiciest strawberries I’ve found this year so far. A bit of fresh mint on top and these little beauties are done. When we have guests for dinner, I usually serve this dessert in small ramekins, but this time I went for wine glasses. The shiny red fruit looks really pretty in the bright panna cotta, it would be a pity to hide them.

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

 

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

Serves 2 to 4

gelatin sheets (7 x 11cm / 3 x 4″) 2 1/2, or 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
heavy cream 240ml / 1 cup
whole milk 120 ml / 1/2 cup
a pinch of fine sea salt
vanilla pod, scraped, 1
granulated sugar 50g / 1/4 cup, plus more for the strawberries
mascarpone 60g / 2 ounces
fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, 140g / 4 ounces, plus 3-4 whole strawberries, quartered lenghthwise, for the topping
a few fresh mint leaves, for the topping

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for about 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, milk, salt, vanilla seeds, and sugar to the boil. As soon as the mixture is bubbling, take the pan off the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatin sheets and crumble into the warm cream mixture; whisk thoroughly. Stir in the mascarpone and whisk until well combined. Leave the cream in the saucepan and let it cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Then chill the panna cotta in the fridge for about 1 hour, whisking 3-4 times, or until it starts to set.

Divide the sliced strawberries between 4 ramekins (120ml / 4 ounces), or 2-4 wine glasses, and sprinkle them with a little sugar. Divide the panna cotta between the glasses and chill for about 30 minutes or until set. Arrange the quartered strawberries and the mint leaves on top of the cream just before serving.

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

 

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

 

strawberrypannacotta8

 

Strawberry Mascarpone Panna Cotta

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

Although I’m much more into cakes, pies and cookies than classic desserts, I can enjoy a good panna cotta once in a while with great satisfaction. It only needs a strong addition, chocolate doesn’t work for me here but fruits or fragrant flavours. Rosewater, orange blossom water, lavender, rosemary or spices like aniseed, cinnamon or cardamom. Anything which gives the pure milky taste of this basic cream a bit of a punch, a more defined direction is not only welcoming but also necessary to get me hooked on this dish.

Today’s recipe definitely manages to get my full attention, the flowery hint of delicate rosewater is more than tempting. It’s important that you adjust the amount of the fragrant infusion to your taste though, every product tastes different and varies in intensity. My rosewater is organic, it has no artificial or overpowering nuances, so I could whisk 5 teaspoons into the cream without feeling knocked down by its aroma. Especially in combination with the soft nuttiness of the topping, unsalted pistachios, it reveals a warm, summery feeling. I also stirred in some fresh ricotta which makes it a bit lighter and fits the season.

There’s no reason for my preference of baked desserts, the list of recipes on eat in my kitchen can’t hide that I totally fall for anything baked. Every few days, I feel the need to eat something sweet that includes pastries, cake doughs and batters. I adore the smell in my kitchen when there’s a cake rising in the oven. The whole process of baking food, the warm air around the oven, it feels quite archaic, I like that. But then there are those days which call for different treats, especially in summer, and even more so when we go to Malta, living above 30°C / 86°F constantly day and night, that’s the right time for creamy desserts: flans like the Spanish crème caramel, French creme brûlée, Bavarian cream or the wonderful Italian panna cotta. They tend to be lighter and less filling after an extensive dinner. And the preparation takes less time, which makes it a convenient crowd pleaser. You just have to time it well and keep in mind that it has to set in the fridge for a few hours which is another reason to give it a go at your summer dinner parties. You just open the door of your fridge, pull out the ramekins and sprinkle them pretty – done!

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

 

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios 

For a small dessert for 4 or for a hungry couple (like us) you need

gelatine sheets (size 7 1/2 x 11 1/2cm / 3 x 4 1/2″) 2 1/2 sheets
heavy cream 240ml / 1 cup
milk 110ml / 1/2 cup
a pinch of salt
sugar 40g / 3 generous tablespoons
vanilla pod, scraped, 1
quality rosewater (preferably organic) 5 tablespoons, to taste
fresh ricotta 50g / scant 1/4 cup
unsalted pistachios, chopped, 1 1/2 tablespoons, for the topping
rose pedals, for the topping (optionally)

Break the gelatin sheets in half and soak in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

In a sauce pan, bring the cream, milk, salt, sugar and vanilla to the boil. Take the pan off the heat once it’s bubbling and squeeze in the gelatin, add the whole crumbled sheets and whisk until dissolved. Add 2 teaspoons of rosewater and the ricotta and whisk until combined. Add more rosewater to taste (I stopped at 5 teaspoons) and let the mixture cool in the pan (whisk it a few times while cooling). Once the cream is cool (it will still be liquid) pour it into 4 small ramekins, cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 4 hours (or overnight) or until the panna cotta is set. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and rose pedals, you can also serve it with fruits, strawberries are great!

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

 

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

 

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Ricotta and Pistachios

 

rosepannacottapistachios12

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