Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Festive Fancies: Christmas panna cotta and truffles

As the season of indulgence is well and truly upon us, we took ourselves to the hub of the home to create two party-perfect recipes: rich Christmas Panna Cotta and toothsome White Chocolate and Pistachio after-dinner truffles.

Here's how to make the Christmas Panna Cotta...

You'll need:

6 sheets of gelatine (or Agar Flake for vegetarian friends)
1 litre double cream
120g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground all spice
3 tbsp Pedro Ximinez
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup crumbled Christmas Pudding (can be a shop bought)
A sprinkling of nutmeg

To serve:
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp Pedro Ximinez


Place the raisins and one tablespoon of Pedro Ximinez in a bowl and leave aside to soak. Leave them for at least a few hours, but if you have time, overnight.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water until softened. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.

In a heavy-based pan, heat the double cream, sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and all spices. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. If you’re using agar flake instead, follow the instructions on the packet.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the drained gelatine, 2 tablespoons of Pedro Ximinez and the crumbled Christmas pudding.

Pour the mixture into ramekins. Best to fill them up about ¾ full. Leave aside until completely cool then refrigerate until set.

When ready to serve, dip the ramekins briefly into hot water to loosen the Panna Cotta. Place on a plate and top with the Pedro Ximinez and soaked raisins. A touch of gold leaf on top would look ever so pretty, too.

For the White Chocolate and Pistachio truffles...

You'll need: 

180g good quality white chocolate (like Green and Blacks)
1/3 cup double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
1/3 cup desiccated coconut


Chop the white chocolate into small, even chunks and place into a heatproof bowl. Add the cream and place in microwave (or on a baine marie if you would prefer, but the microwave is amazingly good with chocolate). Microwave the chocolate uncovered, on a medium heat for 2 minutes, then remove and stir with a metal spoon. If there are still lumps, pop the bowl back in for 1 minute, then stir again. 

Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the vanilla and chopped coconut and place the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour to set. Once set, remove and roll into balls, and then into the coconut.

Top tip: pop a handful of truffles into our of our Golden Espresso Cup to make the ideal gift.

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