Thursday, 31 January 2013

Creamy Cumquat Delight

Panna Cotta con i Cumquat
Cumquat Panna Cotta

I had the last handful of cumquats... and a hankering for something sweet- but not too sweet! You know me by now ;-) So I decided to improvise a little panna cotta, from a little cream, a little Stevia, a little vanilla and a little magic!

Actually, there was no magic involved as panna cotta is as easy as can be to make! There are a million and one recipes and variations too- using leaf gelatin, powdered, or even agar-agar as a gelling agent. But basically, they all simply require a little warming, a little flavoring and a little chilling :- So just chill-out with me whilst I tell you how I made my little delightful desserts this evening...

I began by dissolving 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin into a half cup of warm milk, stirring it until it was completely smooth... nothing could be worse than having lumps in a silky smooth dessert like this. I then chopped 2 cumquats into a fine dice, popped them into a small frying pan, poured enough boiling water over them to cover them and let them sit for 2-3 minutes. I turned up the heat until the water evaporated away without stirring, then deglazed the pan with a splash of Cointreau. I took them off the heat, added a squeeze of honey- just a little, stirred once and let them cool.

Next, I warmed up one small carton of cream- a quarter of a liter, in a small saucepan, flavored it with a little vanilla and sweetened it with a teaspoon of Stevia- you can use sugar if you want, but I would recommend confectioners sugar as you want it to dissolve completely and smoothly- and you must not let the cream boil!

Once the cream was hot,  I stirred it little by little into the milk and gelatin mix, then added the flavored cumquats and stirred them in too. I returned the saucepan briefly to the heat and gave it about a minute more time, in order for the flavors to mingle and develop. I then filled the creamy cumquat mixture into 2 little glasses and let them cool for 20-30 minutes on the counter top and then for another couple of hours in the fridge.

And what more can I say? It doesn't get much easier! Simple? Sure? Delicious? Absolutely! Mild and creamy but tangy and full of orange flavor! It's worth a little sinning every now and again- especially when the sins are as teeny-tiny as these were- sigh! Next time I will make more for sure!

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