Recipes from food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando: Fish fingers to Friday nights.

Gingerbread panna cotta

 

Gingerbread panna cotta with grapefruit, orange, fennel seed, pistachio and thyme

A clear blue Saturday morning of the May bank holiday weekend. We are finally teaching Noah to cycle and in the park among Victorian trees on flat ground,  I walked and he wobbled past the tennis courts, scattering people and their dogs into the undergrowth as they dived for cover and I pretended he wasn’t my son.

A tennis ball, served viciously by a chap who clearly  didn’t like his girlfriend shot past her and wedged itself in the chain-link fence. Half in and out, squeezed in the middle like a belt was trying to give it a waist. It reminded me of many panna cottas I’ve eaten in the past. Rubbery, chewy and solid lumps of sugary milk sickly with lavender or raspberry coulis as if it were still 1987.

And like Noah on his bicycle, a good panna cotta is very wobbly. It needs to be soft and silky and have a milky creaminess to it. So you have to be careful with the gelatine. 3 leaves is more than enough for this recipe if you’re using them. I used powdered, that’s all I had in the cupboard, and you need about 3/4 of one of the small individual packets. A whole packet is enough to set 600ml of liquid as firmly as a Beverly Hills backside, and that’s as unappealing there as this would be on your plate, so act carefully.

This has sharp and sweet grapefruit, caramelised orange and a little fennel to go with the gingery spicing of the panna cotta. A few thyme leaves and pistachio give a little tickle and crunch here and there. It’s perfect for when you have friends for supper as you make it well in advance and leave it to set in the fridge. Pudding is taken care of and you won’t need to disappear for half an hour during the meal. Unless you hate your guests and want a break.

Ingredients for four
260ml milk
260ml double cream
8g powdered gelatine or 3 sheets
2tbsp gingerbread spice mix (I used The Uncharted Spice Company‘s which is perfect)
1tbsp golden caster sugar
4 slices of orange (I use blood oranges when in season)
1/2 ruby grapefruit
1tbsp golden caster sugar
2tbsp pistachio nuts, chopped
1tsp fennel seeds
A blowtorch and a sprinkle of sugar for each orange slice

Method
Dissolve the gelatine in a little hot water until well mixed and there are no lumps. If you’re using the sheets, follow the packet instructions.
Bring the milk, cream and sugar to the boil and stir in the spices then mix well.
Add the gelatine and stir until completely incorporated and smooth.
Remove from the heat and pour into four dariole or panna cotta moulds and leave to set in the fridge for an hour and a half minimum.

Make the sauce by putting the grapefruit in a pan with a tablespoon of sugar and a few tablespoons of water then bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer until soft and syrupy.
Leave to cool.

Release each panna cotta carefully from their moulds onto plates (you may need to warm the outside of the mould with your hands a little to help). Sprinkle the orange slices with sugar and some fennel seeds and caramelise the top of them with a blowtorch. Put one on top of each panna cotta, gently warm through the syrup to loosen it a little and pour over with a sprinkle of pistachio, a few more fennel seeds and a little thyme. Serve immediately.

 

45 Responses to “Gingerbread panna cotta”

  1. epiphanyofsumi

    Really love the touch of humor you add to your post in the beginning. Needless to mention, the recipe is a must try on as it sounds and feels scrumptious. Thank you for sharing your post. 🙂

    Reply
  2. abigailrt

    I have never tried making it, I love your description 😁 I may try this at some point in the future, doesn’t look too difficult…bookmarked 👍🏻

    Reply
  3. Jenny Bulmer

    This looks really delicious, I would have never have thought that the flavours of gingerbread would go with panna cotta! Yum

    Reply
  4. ajennysaved

    This looks really delicious, I would have never have thought that the flavours of gingerbread would go with panna cotta! Yum

    Reply
  5. myownbeauty2017

    Reblogged this on MY OWN BEAUTY 2017 and commented:
    Perfect recipe and idea for the warmer weather. I have to definitely try this recipe. Thanks so much for posting it.

    Reply
    • Nicolas Ghirlando

      Hi. You could use vegetarian gelatin if it’s a vegetarian issue, though I couldn’t be sure on quantities. I believe you need to use more than standard though. Otherwise, you could try using gingerbread spices in a creme brûlée which would be a delicious way around it…

      Reply
  6. Lilac

    Sounds tasty… I’d love to make it but I’m a terrible cook who murders all her dishes

    Reply
  7. marisaiannis1

    Beautiful 📷 !!! The candied orange – Trump card…but, it was melting a bit – We used 2 plate our chocolate panna cotta’s just like this, with a rim of pistachios & red currants. But when the blowtorch hit it – DISASTER. The servers hated taking them out on the deconstructed rimless plates, man down, lol.
    As a writer & chef myself – big laugh on ” Hardened like A Beverly Hills backside..” oh, you brits

    Reply
  8. priyaabali

    HEY if youre reading this! I would like to invite you on my blog in which i took a challenge of making dishes in a particular time period. I would love for you to read my first update and stay with me through my messy journey. Thankyou

    Reply
  9. mystiqknights

    that little excerpt at the beginning was so heartwarming and wholesome 💚 the recipe looks awesome! we’ll have to try it.

    Reply

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