Recipe from Desserts by Michel Roux (Wiley, 2011)Serves 6-8
Honey adds a lovely dimension, but if you are concerned about upsetting the purity of the flavor, use sugar instead. If you wish to turn out the pannacottas to serve, oil the molds and use an extra . leaf of gelatin-they will look pretty, but the texture won't be quite as delicate.
Soak the gelatin in cold water to cover for about 5 minutes. Heat the cream, milk, honey or sugar, and vanilla beans in a pan, stirring from time to time, until the mixture almost reaches a boil, then remove from the heat. Immediately drain the gelatin and squeeze out excess water, then add to the creamy milk, stirring until completely melted.
- 1 1/2 sheets leaf gelatin
- 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream
- scant 1 cup (200ml) milk
- generous 1/4 cup (100g) runny honey, or scant 1/2 cup (80g) superfine sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 3 ripe fresh figs, sliced into fine circles
Strain the mixture through a fine strainer or chinois into a bowl. Stand in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and a little water to cool quickly, stirring from time to time, until it is nearly cold.
Meanwhile, arrange fig slices around the sides of 6-8 individual glass bowls or cups (measuring about 3 1/4 inches/8cm across the top), making sure they adhere; save 6-8 slices for decoration. Carefully pour in the pannacotta mixture, ensuring it covers the figs. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours, or overnight if preparing ahead.
Remove from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving. Top each pannacotta with a fig slice to serve.
Espresso Vanilla Pannacotta
Omit the figs. At the table, pour a strong, piping hot espresso over each pannacotta … a real explosion of flavors.