BREAKING NEWS: January is over.
That's right, folks. The rumours are true. January has well and truly gone and dare I say it, I think Winter might be following too. Signs of Spring are filtering into our gradually lightening days and I couldn't be more excited. Daffodils are sneaking into supermarkets, I'm only wearing two layers when I venture outdoors and people are finally coming out of winter hibernation, ready to play once more.
So to celebrate the end of our winter hibernation and the beginning of Spring playtime, I thought I'd share the perfect little dinner party dessert. A doddle to make, easy to store and totally impressive and delicious. Panna cotta is also light, refreshing and luxurious, making it the ideal way to end a meal of fancies and delights.
Panna cotta always reminds me of my maternal grandmother, who makes a mean panna cotta (along with just about everything else, too!). When I was younger, I used to devour her panna cotta which she'd often serve with a mixed berry compote. My favourite fruit in the compote was the delicious, plump strawberries and that's why I've decided to top my simple vanilla pudding with the same. They are the perfect sweet accompaniment with a subtle but sharp tang of lemon. It's kinda heavenly and is certain to impress.
For Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote you will need (makes 4 ramekins):
3 gelatine leaves
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g caster sugar
For the strawberry compote:
2 tbsp caster sugar
Begin by soaking the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft.
Then over a a medium heat melt together the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved and bring to a simmer.
Then squeeze out the gelatine leaves of any excess water and add to the cream mix. Stir until the leaves are completely dissolved.
Pour the mixture into four ramekins or molds. You can use a funnel at this point if you have one to hand.
Divide equally between four ramekins. Leave to cool and then cover and pop into the fridge for at least one hour.
For the compote, top and halve the strawberries.
Then in a small pan, combine the strawberries, sugar and juice of half a lemon.
Stir and then cover and leave to simmer over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the strawberries are a glossy, dark red and the liquid is syrupy. Store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
When ready to serve simply grab your ramekins of panna cotta.
Pile on your strawberry compote.
And that's it! Serve up and tuck in to these little bowls of love.