Barbara from Tigers & Strawberries has come upon a most challenging theme for the second edition of The Spice is Right. We're to take a spice that's used in our "native cuisine" and then utilise it in an opposite manner.
A classic Italian dish is Risotto Milanese and it's most well known for it's use of Saffron, so for this event, I'm going to take a classic Italian dessert, Panna Cotta and add saffron.
There is something quite wonderful about Saffron - whether it is the delightful colour it imparts or it's unique taste. It seems every where I looked over the last week, there was a story on TV or articles about Saffron.
One interesting point was in how to tell you have good quality saffron. Good saffron takes time to release it's colour, it will though impart it's flavour, so you need to be aware and let taste be the guide not the colour. Apparently with Tasmanian Saffron you should let it soak for a few hours and up to 24, if you are looking for that vibrant colour.
Saffron Panna Cotta with Saffron Syrup
60g caster sugar
2 Titanium Gelatine sheets (see below for notes on Gelatine)
pinch saffron threads
pinch saffron threads
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
To make the Syrup:
Let the saffron threads soak in the water overnight.
Next day, strain the water into a pan and add sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved then simmer under it's reduced slightly. Set aside to cool.
To make the Panna Cotta:
In a saucepan and under a gentle heat, place cream, sugar and saffron and bring to near boiling point.
Strain into a jug.
Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water until they soften. Remove from water, squeeze dry then add to hot cream mixture, stir well to combine.
Pour into moulds and place in the fridge to set. Ideally you'll leave these overnight.
Depending on the type of moulds used you can serve them as is, or turn them out. You'll notice that there isn't a huge colour shift but there is, most importantly the wonderful taste of saffron wrapped in the silky smoothness of the Panna Cotta.
In the photo above I've turned it from the mould and drizzled over some of the cooled Saffron Syrup.
The ones shown below, would be served in the glass, perfect as finger food, with Saffron syrup offered to taste - just a thin layer over the top will do.
and finally this is unmoulded and topped with Persian Fairy Floss, which gives it a more middle eastern feel
Notes on Gelatine:
The amount of gelatine required is dependant on it's grade. If you are using "titanium" gelatine than the rule is that 1 sheet will be able to set 250ml of liquid. If you use a lower level of gelatine, it might be labelled "gold" then 3 sheets will be needed to set 250ml of liquid.
A similar problem exists with using powdered gelatine as it's available by weight or in sachets. Following the guidelines, 2 teaspoons will set 250ml of liquid so for this recipe use 4 teaspoons.
Tagged with Sweet Food : Saffron