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Fresh berry and vanilla panna cotta

Vanilla Panna Cotta with fresh berries

Vanilla Panna Cotta with fresh berries

Recipes and styling Liam Tomlin  Photos Craig Fraser 

Panna cotta is usually made with buttermilk or yoghurt, which results in a slightly sour flavour. Cream and milk keep the flavour neutral.

Serves 4

400g raspberries, stalks removed and roughly chopped

400g strawberries, stalks removed and roughly chopped

150g castor or vanilla sugar

400ml cream

1 vanilla pod, split and scraped

5 gelatine leaves

250ml milk or buttermilk

60g vanilla sugar

96 fresh raspberries

Icing sugar to dust

500ml vanilla-bean ice cream* 

To prepare raspberry jelly, place raspberries and strawberries in a bowl with sugar, mix and cover with clingfilm.

Place bowl over pot of simmering water and leave for an hour over a low heat until berries have released their juices. Refrigerate for an hour before passing through a double layer of muslin; discard the pulp.

To make panna cotta, slowly bring cream, sugar and vanilla to boil. Remove from heat and allow vanilla to infuse the cream for half an hour before passing through a sieve. Soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water. Add milk to cream and bring back to boil. Squeeze gelatine dry and stir into cream until dissolved; remove from heat.

To finish jelly, soak 2 gelatine leaves in cold water and, when soft, squeeze dry. Heat 50ml berry juice in a saucepan, add gelatine and stir until dissolved. Pour into remaining juice and stir.

To assemble panna cotta, place a raspberry in base of martini glass and pour jelly over until covered by half; refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Cover raspberry entirely with jelly and return to fridge until set. Pour over panna cotta and return to fridge.

Once set, arrange a border of raspberries around side of glass and pour in jelly until raspberries covered by half; return to fridge until almost set.

Cover raspberries with jelly; refrigerate until set. Pour layer of panna cotta to brim of glass and allow to set in fridge. To serve, arrange a border of raspberries around side of glass, lightly dust with icing sugar, then set a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream in centre.

Step By Step Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream

Crème anglaise

500ml milk

500ml cream

12 free-range egg yolks

175g castor sugar

2 vanilla pods 

Step by step vanilla bean ice cream recipe

STEP 1 Split the vanilla pods lengthways. Use the tip of a knife to scrape out the seeds. In a saucepan over 

a medium heat, bring milk, cream, vanilla pods and seeds to the boil. Remove from heat and allow vanilla to infuse the milk for 15 minutes.

STEP 2 In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in volume and the sugar has dissolved. 

STEP 3 Return vanilla-infused milk to heat and bring back to the boil. Remove from heat and pour half of milk onto egg-yolk mix and whisk until well blended. Add remaining milk and whisk until well blended.

Vanilla bean ice cream

STEP 4 Pour custard mixture into a clean saucepan and cook over a low heat for 8 – 10 minutes until it thickens, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.

 To test if the custard is ready, run your finger over  the back of the wooden spoon. If the custard leaves  a definite parting it is ready; if it is still runny it will need a few more minutes cooking. The custard can also be checked with a sugar thermometer
and is ready when it has a reading of 82°C/175°C.

 Do not allow the custard to boil or it will curdle.

STEP 5 Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Place this over a bowl of ice and stir to cool the custard as quickly as possible, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.

STEP 6 Pour into an electric ice-cream machine and churn until firm. Remove from machine, transfer to a clean container and freeze for up to a week until ready to serve. Allow the ice cream to soften slightly at room temperature before serving.

Variations of vanilla ice cream

Crème anglaise is the base for ice cream and a variety of sweet sauces and can be infused with different ingredients besides vanilla to result in an endless
range of flavours:

Citrus Infuse the anglaise with citrus peel. Finish with a dash of an appropriately flavoured alcohol such as Grand Marnier.

Coffee Add a shot of strong espresso coffee
and a dash of coffee liqueur to taste.

Ginger Infuse the milk with fresh, peeled root ginger, pass and finish with chopped, preserved
ginger in verjuice.

Balsamic vinegar Flavour crème anglaise base with balsamic vinegar and serve with ice cream
and fresh strawberries. 

Herbs Infuse with fresh, chopped herbs such as basil, lemon thyme or mint, with freshly chopped herb added to the ice cream as it churns.

Coconut Replace the milk with coconut milk
and follow the same method. Finish with a dash of appropriate alcohol such as Malibu.

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