Opinions can change. That’s my message today. For example, when Matt Smith started as Dr Who I was determined to hate him (long live Tennant). Now, half way through the series, I very much love him. When I was little, I hated pineapple. Not sure why, not sure how, but that hate is long gone. And until recently, I thought I hated pannacotta. But then I made this one… When I imagined pannacotta, it was always firm and solid on the spoon like a peculiar white jelly. Probably tasting quite milky, perhaps a bit bland. Oh, was I wrong. This version of pannacotta was creamy and soft – set, yes, but to a gentle wobble rather than bounce-it-off-the-walls set. Definitely not bland either, but prettily speckled with vanilla. Also a great part of this dessert was the fact it feels good for you, due to the tiny amount of sugar. Of course, that’s only because its full of double cream but hey ho.
Normally, I’m a very strict recipe follower but this time I made a couple of changes. I used a couple of teaspoonfuls of vanilla paste to flavour, as shown below, because it offers a much richer flavour than vanilla extract but is much less expensive than vanilla pods! Also, I made this pannacotta in a slightly unorthodox way. Instead of boiling the cream mixture over the stove – I microwaved the mixture in a Pyrex jug! Although unusual, this makes the whole process SO much easier and also makes it a one pot pud, minimising washing up. In my hating days, I always visualised pannacotta turned out onto a big plate, but I served these in the glassed for a pretty effect. The glaze on the strawberries was simply done by tossing the sliced strawberries in quince jelly before placing them on the chilled pannacottas, making them shine and giving a bit of extra honey flavour. And after all of that, they were enjoyed happily by the family and we were left wishing we hadn’t halved the recipe! You can find it here and I hope you enjoy making something you once disliked this week!