Rose Panna cotta with rose jelly and a cardomom-pistachio biscuit

I love combining rose with cardamom – it is a lovely Middle Eastern combination and puts me in mind of all the exotic places I visit \vicariously through the internet and travel books.

Actually, the first time I combined these particular flavours, it was when I developed a cake idea for a competition – the winner would get enough prize money to see them on their way to open the café of their dreams… I still remember the picture I painted with my essay of what it would be like to visit my café – and it pretty much has been unchanged since then – who knows, one day the dream might just come true! The cake I entered with my ideal café, was a flour-less pistachio and almond cake which was lightly flavoured with rose pelargonium and rosewater, and served with a cardamom Crème Fraîsche and crystallized rose petals… perhaps I’ll make that soon too.

But for now – the panna cotta. Essentially a milk-and-cream jelly, panna cotta is a delightful dessert from Italy and the name translates to “cooked cream”. It’s very elegant when served, and easily infused with almost any flavour imaginable.

 

 

Rose panna cotta

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (250ml) full cream milk
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • pinch of salt
Method
  1. Pour the cold milk into a saucepan and sprinkle over the powdered gelatin, leave for about 5 minutes
  2. Add the sugar and stir it all together until mostly dissolved.
  3. Gently heat the milk mix over a low heat (make very sure the milk does not scald or boil), stirring to make sure all the sugar and gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Take off the heat, cool down and mix in the cream and rosewater.
  5. Pour into molds and let set in the fridge for about 2 hours

Rose jelly

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • raspberries, beet powder, or food colouring (optional)
Method
  1. Pour the cold water into a saucepan and sprinkle over the powdered gelatin, leave for about 5 minutes
  2. Add the sugar and stir it all together until mostly dissolved.
  3. Gently heat the water until all the sugar and gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Add the rosewater and chosen colouring.
  5. Cool before pouring a thin layer on top of the (mostly set) panna cotta in the molds.
  6. Leave to set in the fridge for about an hour.

 

Cardmom-pistachio biscuit

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (300g) flour
  • 75g pistachios, roughly chopped
  •  250g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125g) sifted icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom, ground
  • pinch of salt
For sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped pistachio
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
Method
  1. Pulse the 75g pistachios with the flour in a blender until the pistachio is finely mixed with the flour, be careful to not create a paste.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer until light and fluffy
  3. Add the egg yolk to the butter and sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the pistachio-flour to the batter, add the cardamom, salt, and blend until combined.
  5. Form the dough into a ball, and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Roll the dough to about 1cm thickness, use a cookie cutter to cut to your desired shape, sprinkle with the raw sugar and pistachio.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Cool before serving.

To plate, take the rose panna cotta from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving, slide a knife around the edge of the mold to loosen, upend onto a saucer or plate and dish up.



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