Monday, 5 March 2018

Kefir panna cotta with saffron and cardamom jelly

  “If it takes you more than five minutes to put it together, you’re doing something wrong.”

Panna cotta is such a lovely blank slate, like its savoury sister polenta it can be flavoured according to one’s desire. What’s not to love about a dessert like that? Vanilla is an obvious choice, but cardamom, cinnamon, tonka, nutmeg, lemongrass, ginger, lemon geranium are all spices you could toy with.Inspired by a creme caramel I saw Nigel Slater make on his tour of Iran,I thought i would go for a combination of saffron and cardamom,topped with a wonderful golden jelly.Interestingly enough it’s become popular in Paris and nowadays, it’s just as common to see it on menus as crème caramel and crème brûlée.This is perhaps the easiest dessert to make ever.As David Lebovitz aptly describes panna cotta, “If it takes you more than five minutes to put it together, you’re doing something wrong.” The spin I put on it made it an Italian dessert with Indian flavours.The spices enhance the rich flavours of the Kefir, cream,and Greek yoghurt (yes i know,before you say it,not authentic but try it, it gives the whole thing a moussey texture) and  pull the whole thing together with a heady top note of flavour and perfume. An amazing fusion dessert with melt in the mouth texture and mildly sweetened with a subtle enticing aroma of cardamom.It gives the saffron cardamom flavours a chance to shine.
Kefir panna cotta with saffron and cardamom jelly 
makes 4  
kefir is fermented cows milk, full of gut friendly bacteria.
It´s used in recipes for its tangy flavour similar to soured cream.
Find it in supermarkets and health food stores.
250ml greek yoghurt
125ml kefir
125ml regular cream
4oz caster sugar
12 cardamom pods shelled and ground up
large pinch of saffron threads

3 leaves of gelatine
Beat the yoghurt lightly with a fork until smooth and creamy.Soak the saffron in a little warm water and stir.Combine the cream and kefir in a small pan with the sugar, ground cardamom and saffron.Heat over a medium flame until the sugar has dissolved,the mixture is nicely warm to the touch.Remove from the heat.Dissolve the gelatine in 4 tablespoons of water and add to the cream mixture.Stir to mix.Beat in the yoghurt.spoon the mixture into four individual ramekin dishes and chill for several hours or ideally overnight.Dip each ramekin briefly into some hot water to loosen the panna cotta and then turn out onto serving plates.

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