Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Recipe

 Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta  Photo : Jackie Cameron

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Terminology and an understanding of foodie words excite me so chef/judge table discussions around topical flavours and recipes were stimulating. Call me a purist - and I'll agree! When a chef labels a dish panna cotta it must be so - cooked in the traditional way in accordance to its name or custom. Panna cotta is the Italian word for boiled cream hence the method should reflect this.

Yields : 11 (conical mould) or one 13cm  x 17cm tray

Ingredients :

1 L Long life Cream

1 Vanilla Pod-split

30 g White Sugar

6 sheets of Gelatine or 12 g or 18 ml powdered Gelatine

Method :

1) Slice the vanilla bean in half. With the back of your knife scrape out all the seeds and set aside

2) Bring to the boil the cream, sugar and split vanilla bean and seeds. Take off the heat as soon as boiling is seen

3a) Fill a large bowl with cold water. Place gelatine sheets into the water and allow to sponge. When the sheets are soft, squeeze all excess water out. Then add to warm cream mixture and whisk to incorporate. Strain and set aside

3b) Put 30ml of cold water into a teacup. Sprinkle with gelatine powder and allow to sponge for 5 minutes. Put a small saucepan of water on the heat (Bain Marie style/double boiler) and place the teacup in the centre and with a teaspoon stir the gelatine and water mixture until all the gelatine is dissolved; otherwise, jelly babies may form in your end product. Once dissolved add to warm cream mixture. Strain and set aside

4) Grease the mould, may it be a conical mould, dariole or tray, with Spray 'n Cook and fill with the cream mixture

4) Cover and place in the fridge to set, a few hours are needed

5) Take the panna cotta out of the fridge and de-mould or cut. Place onto a plate with your choice of compliment. Serve with fresh fruit and/or berries. Sorbets also work well as it compliments the creaminess of the dessert. We serve ours with either apricot or cocoa sorbet together with a popcorn brittle, caramel sauce and crispy caramel popcorn. Yum!

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
+27 33 263 2713