Very doable and my gosh impressive- just leave time for the setting.
Panna Cotta is one of those desserts that people can be frightened of making. I know that was me until last week. Possibly because it involves using gelatine leaves. And wobble. But I pulled myself together and my feeling now is that if you can make packet jelly - yup the sort of bright red wobbly stuff you spent your childhood scoffing with ice cream, then you can make this. We have recently had a short uncharacteristic burst of warmer weather which has enlivened my taste buds for something more summery than the crumbles and sponges so enjoyed over the darker winter months.
Rose is one of my favourite flavours. I only started cooking with it when I was bowled over by the amount of rose flavoured foods you could get in my local Turkish supermarket - jams, sweets, syrups etc. An absolute cave of wonders, I think I could write a whole blog series on ‘Cooking from Corner Shops’ (watch this space!).For this, I use rosewater. Don't use too much though or it will taste like grandma's hand cream.
Rose goes so wonderfully with Panna Cotta - the delicate rose with the fresh and smooth cream. I have taken the edge off the richness slightly by adding a roasted grape puree here. The sticky, sweet but with a slight tang really compliments the Panna Cotta. Who needs spoons when eating pudding? The biscuit is merely a tasty vehicle for getting the luscious pud into your mouth. These ones are called Langue de Chats - which means ‘cats tongues’ in French. Named so for their shape. They are slightly chewy in the middle, light and crispy round the edges. If you have any left (I rarely do), they are perfect for dunking in your cuppa for elevenses.
You can see from the last picture, that the dish was veritably hoovered.
300ml double cream
300ml buttermilk or natural yogurt
1 vanilla pod
80g icing sugar
2 tsp rosewater
3 leaves of gelatine
500g black seedless grapes
110g caster sugar
2 egg whites lightly beaten
50g plain flour
Zest of 2 lemons
Dried rose petals for decoration.
1. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways, remove the seeds and scrape into a pan with the empty pod.
2. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes.
3. Add the cream with the icing sugar to the vanilla pod and warm over a gentle heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil slowly. As soon as you see quick bubbles, remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod.
4. Squeeze out the gelatine and add to the cream with the buttermilk and mix well.
5. Pour the mixture into small pudding moulds (I used a 7cm dariole mould) or ramekins, cover and put to set in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
6. For the grapes pre heat the oven to 180c (fan)- line a baking tray with sides with greaseproof paper (I scrunckle mine up and make it wet first), remove the grapes from the bunch (no stalks please!), prick each grape twice with a fork and place on the baking tray.
7. Place in the pre heated for an hour. They should look a bit burst and wrinkly when they are cooked.
8. When cool, whiz them straight up in a food processor. If you want it super smooth, pass through a sieve.
9. For the biscuits, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour and egg whites.
10. Place the whole lot in a piping bag with a 5mm plain nozzle.
11. Pipe 8 cm long strips on a large greased baking tray - leave 3 cm between each biscuit. There is enough mixture for around 20 biscuits so you will either need to cook in batches which is quick or have a few baking trays.
12. Bake in a 200C (fan) oven for 4-6 mins until crispy at the edges. Watch them like a hawk as they turn really quickly!
13. Remove from the tray with a palette knife and cool on a wire rack.
To serve, remove the moulds from the fridge and run the bases quickly under hot water to release. Turn out onto a plate and serve with a good dash of puree, some dried rose petals on top, and as many biscuits as you can fit in your mouth.