Everyone loves a panna cotta with the perfect wobble and this rose and coconut panna cotta certainly doesn't disappoint. The praline adds texture, while the granita lightens the creaminess of the panna cotta. Heaven.
Sheet gelatine is often confusing as they come in different strengths (also known as bloom) and sheet weight (titanium leaves measure 5gm each, gold 2gm each and bronze 1.5gm each). Unfortunately, there are very little guidelines on how to interpret both.
Gelatine sets on a scale between 0.6% (still runny) – 1.7% (firm) and after several rounds of testing, I've found that panna cotta is best at ~1.3%. To find out how much gelatine to use, simply mutiply the weight of the liquid with desired percentage, e.g. 400gm panna cotta mix x 0.013 = 5gm of gelatine. I've used titanium grade gelatine in this recipe, but you can easily substitute it with bronze or gold. Just ensure that you use the equivalent in weight e.g. 2.5 sheets of gold in lieu of 1 sheet of titanium.
If you're time poor, make the components of this dessert a day or two in advance so that all that's left to be done on the day is to plate. We'd love to hear from you so don't forget to tell us what you think about this recipe in the comments box below!
Longan and chrysanthemum granita:
500ml hot water
20gm dried longan
10gm dried chrysanthemum flowers
100gm coconut sugar (or muscovado sugar)
Rose and coconut panna cotta:
125ml coconut cream
125ml thickened cream
60gm caster sugar
5 gm dried rose buds
3/4 sheet of titanium gelatine leaf
2.5 tbsp rose water
Brown butter cashew and citrus praline:
30 gm cashews
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp coconut sugar (or muscovado sugar)
1 - 2 tbsp dried citrus powder
1 - 2 tbsp ground coriander
dried rose petals
candied citrus peel
24 hours before serving, mix the dried longan, chrysanthemum flowers and muscovado sugar with the hot water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let the fruit and flowers steep in the warm syrup for a minimum of an hour (a longer steep will impart more flavour). Once steeped, pour the liquid through a sieve and into an airtight container. Place the container in the freezer to set.
Make the panna cotta while the granita is setting. Soak the gelatine leaf in cold water and set aside.
Mix the coconut cream, thickened cream, caster sugar and rose buds in a small pan over a medium heat. Bring the mix to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and let the rose buds steep for five minutes.
Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Add the gelatine to the panna cotta mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Next, add the rose water and mix well. Strain the mix through a fine sieve in to moulds or your desired vessels and let the mix cool before placing vessels in the fridge to set for a minimum of 5 hours.
Next, prepare the praline. Crush the cashews coarsely in a mortar and pestle or simply chop them with a knife. Set aside. In a non-stick pan, gently heat the butter until it starts to turn brown. You should see the milk solids start to appear at the base of the pan. Remove from the heat and drain the brown butter into a bowl with a sieve. Discard the milk solids. Return the brown butter to the pan and add the sugar. Heat the brown butter and sugar over a medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. The liquid should be a dark brown colour when it's ready. The butter may split from the sugar. Stir well to emulsify the butter with the melted sugar.
Remove from the heat and carefully mix in the coarsely chopped cashew nuts, ensuring that the nuts are well coated (be careful as the liquid will be very hot). Tip the coated nuts on to a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let the mix cool. Once cooled entirely, break into small pieces. Crush the pieces into coarse grains with a mortar and pestle. Add 1 tbsp of the dried citrus powder and ground coriander and mix well. Taste and add the remaining to your preference. Transfer to an airtight container until you're ready to use. This should keep for a few weeks if stored in a cool, dry place.
To plate, remove the granita mix from the freezer 5 - 10 minutes before you're ready to serve. Loosen the panna cotta by placing the moulds in a warm bain marie (water bath) for 30 seconds and carefully tip on to plates. Scrape the surface of the granita mix with a fork until a pile of ice crystals form. Spoon some granita around the the sides of the panna cotta, and some cashew citrus praline on top of the panna cotta. Decorate with a few dried rose petals and candied citrus peel on top of the praline and serve immediately.