Panna cotta with espresso bottom

Unlike its alcoholic cousin – Alcoholic panna cotta, this one is suitable for those who don’t drink alcohol.  I love the flavours of this one.  I keep a jar of espresso coffee hidden at the back of the pantry for cooking with, it really does give a much better flavour than regular coffee.  I have some silicone moulds I use for things like this (you don’t need to grease them like you do with metal or ceramic moulds), the coffee will sink to the bottom, then when you turn it over and unmould it, you will get a layer of coffee on ‘top’ as well as drizzles throughout. Makes 6.

Panna cotta with espresso bottom

Panna cotta with espresso bottom

1 & 1/2 cups milk;

1 & 1/2 cups cream;

1/2 cup white sugar;

6 drops vanilla essence;

3 tsp gelatine powder;

2 tbs brown sugar;

2 tsp instant espresso powder.

Combine milk, cream, sugar and essence in a medium heavy based pan and slowly bring to the boil.  remove from heat, sprinkle 2 tsp gelatine over the top, then whisk vigorously to ensure that as much as possible of the gelatine dissolves instead of setting into gooey globs.  Strain into a jug (to strain out any stubborn gelatine globs!) then pour into moulds.  Put in the fridge for about 45 minutes until they are starting to thicken.

Put brown sugar in a small pan with 1 cup of water, bring to boil and boil for 4 – 5 minutes until the mixture is syrupy and beginning to thicken.  Take off heat and stir in the coffee powder and gelatine, stir vigorously again to ensure that gelatine is dissolved.  Using a teaspoon, drizzle the coffee liquid into the panna cottas.  Some will stay suspended, but most will sink to the bottom.  Put back in fridge for at least two hours, I often prepare this the day before as there is nothing more heartbreaking than trying to unmould a panna cotta that looked set but wasn’t.  You turn it over, start lifting the mould off, and whoosh!  You end up with very tasty slop on the plate.  So if you can’t prepare this the day before, try doing it first thing in the morning, the more setting time you allow, the better.