Tag Archives: pannacotta

matcha / goma pannacotta

4 Apr


Scan 6

To continue my Japanese love affair: an easy dessert to go with the black sesame shortbread. Originally inspired by my favourite dessert at Nanashi Bento, light, delicious, still a little jiggly. They serve it with a few blueberries and some whipped cream.

Matcha is a very fine green tea powder, used for the tea ceremony. Goma is black sesame. Make either or both. If you are particularly cunning, you could make two layers: make one batch of matcha, divide between 8 glasses, refrigerate to set, then pour a batch of goma on top. I prefer the texture of gelatine, but for vegetarians/vegans, agar-agar works too.

For a quick guide on how to gel absolutely anything, check out Bompas and Parr’s guide to jelly. They even made a jellied Christmas dinner. Though their method is slightly different to mine below, their principles and the conversion chart are excellent.

Matcha / goma pannacotta

makes 4 medium or 6 small

400ml coconut milk (or 1 tin)

30g honey or maple syrup

3 tsp matcha OR 30g black sesame paste

**3-4g leaf gelatine OR 2g agar agar (1 packet)

Heat half the coconut milk and the honey in a small saucepan.

If using gelatine, soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water. When it is soft, drain off all the water. When the coconut milk feels warm, but not so hot that it will burn your hand, add gelatine and stir to melt. (Above 60C and the gelatine will not set properly.)

If using agar agar, sprinkle the powder over the coconut milk before you heat it up. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Use the other half of the coconut milk to dilute the matcha powder or sesame paste, adding a little liquid at a time until smooth. You can do this by shaking it in a little jar, whisking it, or in a blender.

Once the heated coconut milk and gelatine/agar agar is ready, combine with the matcha / goma. Whisk or blend to combine well.

Pour into 4-6 glasses and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. To speed up the process, carefully place glasses in the freezer until the liquid sets.

Serve with fresh fruit, like persimmon or raspberries, some whipped cream and a drizzle of honey.


**If you want to unmold your pannacotta, use 4g leaf gelatine and lightly grease the glasses with a neutral oil. If they do not slide out easily, dip the bottom of the glasses in hot water to loosen them. If you plan on serving in the glasses, 3g should suffice for a delicately wobbly texture. For most gelatine found in supermarkets, 1 leaf = 1g.

party food : desserts

13 Nov

To go with the tea and rum, a colourful selection of miniature desserts: classic carrot cake with a neon turmeric icing, pomegranate and grapefruit jellies with vanilla pannacotta and chocolate peanut butter spiral cookies.

Warm spices in the cupcakes: cloves  and cinnamon and the slightest hint of turmeric. A classic chocolate peanut combination for cookie lovers. And tart fruit jelly, smooth vanilla cream in a shot glass. Portable and pretty.


Carrot cupcakes with turmeric icing

Make up the basic recipe as mini cupcakes. Add 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric to icing and beat well until bright yellow. Pipe a star shaped blob onto cupcakes and top with a hazelnut.

Pomegranate and grapefruit jellies

The night before, make a small batch of pannacotta. Allow to cool, then half-fill shot glasses and refrigerate. Heat 500ml grapefruit juice with 2 tbsp sugar. Add gelatine (amounts vary according to type, see packet for instructions), leave to partially set. When a little wobbly, spoon onto pannacotta, sprinkling some pomegranate seeds inside and on top of the jelly.

Chocolate peanut butter spiral cookies

Recipe wholeheartedly lifted from here. Make and roll out two colours of cookie dough, then roll up again togetherfor a zebra effect. Very pretty effect, but next time I would dip the bottoms in dark chocolate for a little more intensity.

pannacotta with vanilla and ricotta, pineapple caramelised with sichuan pepper

5 Oct

For me, cooking at home is kinda slow. Stirring figure of eights in cream as it gently heats. Dicing fruit in neat cubes. Smoothing milk chocolate over a slightly uneven banana cake.

But work does not go that way. Dozens of pannacottas at a time. Ten kilos of flour to hoist onto the scales. Quickly, because someone is waiting behind with neon-yellow curry bread, or a stack of figs and fennel seeds. Breakfast now takes about twenty seconds, the separate buttery layers of pain au chocolat squashed in between filling tarts and airbrushing scones. (Not like photoshop; for maximum efficiency, a hosepipe and fine spraygun blow egg yolk with an angry growl.)

Sometimes I get lucky. The other day I had pannacotta for breakfast. Eaten with a spoon, it takes longer. Breathing time. I like them with just the soft scent of proper speckly vanilla, which always makes sweating over a flan or riz au lait much more bearable. But this time, instead of the classic red fruit coulis, it came with a heap of pineapple cubes. Marinated in sugar syrup and sichuan pepper overnight so it absorbs all the extra sweetness and spice, the pineapple gets caramelised quickly in a pan and turns golden brown. Luxury. Slow cooking luxury.

I’m not sure what the rules are yet about “borrowing” recipes from work. So you will have to look up a pannacotta recipe elsewhere. But the principle is simple:

Heat cream, ricotta, sugar and vanilla. Soak gelatine leaves in cold cold water. When the cream bubbles, whisk in the gelatine until thoroughly melted. Pour into glasses – about 100g per person is good – and leave to chill.

Dice the pineapple: literally dice-sized cubes. Heat an equal amount sugar and water, add your spices of choice (star anise is nice, peppercorns will give it a good kick). Pour over pineapple. Leave for 24 hours. The next day, heat the pineapple in a dry pan until dark and caramelised. Serve over pannacotta.


P.S. Shameless self-promotion: I signed up for this. Vote if you like my scribbles…

%d bloggers like this: