After being sent two lovely Royal Pom pomegranates from Catherine at Wordstom, I decided to try my hand (for a third time) at making a vanilla panna cotta with pomegranate, pomegranate syrup and lavender honey similar to the one served at Jonah’s at Whale Beach (I tried it at Taste of Sydney earlier this year – lovely!).
The Royal Pom pomegranates I was sent are grown in Australia, and the distributor Perfection Fresh, is Australian owned. Supporting Australian grown and owned produce and businesses is always a high priority. I also found out from the info I was sent that you can freeze the pomegranate arils for a year – so I’ve got some in the freezer, so we’ll see how they go.
With their lovely burst of flavour, you can see why I’ve already used pomegranates in this herb and fruit chicken dish.
Now, I mentioned this was my third time at trying to make this dessert – well, that’s because I thought I could make my own moulds for the panna cotta. And I couldn’t.
I have previously, successfully made moulds from baking paper, which support chocolate, and using acetate – which supports mousse. Although the panna cotta mix is too liquid – if there is a hole at the bottom of the mould, it leaks out. If you manage to twist the acetate in a way that there is no hole, it will leak into every spot possible and won’t come off easily either…
So I went and bought some cone moulds and although they certainly held the liquid, the panna cotta still stuck to the mould and needed a knife and a bit of patience for it to finally come out.
I also needed Nick’s help in holding the panna cotta upwards, as the cone was either the wrong shape (too high), or I needed a touch more gelatine for the liquid I had used (or I should have left it longer – as ones that were taken out the next day stood up a lot better). Either way – the vanilla panna cotta tasted lovely and went very well with the burst of flavour from the pomegranate arils, and the pomegranate syrup. (Can you believe I had no honey in the house! – this would have worked very nicely with the rest of the dessert).
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pomegranate and Pomegranate Syrup
Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert
Inspiration: the dessert from Jonah’s at Whale Beach
1 vanilla bean, scraped
3 titanium strength gelatine leaves*
Oil for greasing
½ pomegranate, juiced [approx 75ml] (with a normal citrus juicer – wear an apron)
25g caster sugar
½ pomegranate, seeds/arils to serve
Honey or lavender infused honey, to serve
* the gelatine leaves I was using were titanium strength (5g each) – the packet said 1 sheet will set 250ml liquid (the same as 1 teaspoon of gelatine). As far as I know, 4 gold strength gelatine leaves set 250ml – you may need 12 gold strength gelatine leaves for this recipe. If you aren’t using a difficult mould like I did – less gelatine can be used (maybe 2 sheets) as this will produce a softer panna cotta.
Soak the gelatine leaves in water for 5 minutes, or until soft.
Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in the gelatine leaves until dissolved, then pour into a large bowl and stir to remove heat. Spray any moulds, that you want the panna cotta to come out of, with a bit of oil (if you are pouring into a glass, no oil is needed). Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce the heat before pouring into moulds. Allow to set for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
For the pomegranate syrup, mix pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Reduce to half the volume or until at a flavour you are happy with (if left too long it will start to caramelise).
To serve, remove panna cotta from mould in the middle of a plate. Drizzle the pomegranate syrup around the panna cotta and scatter pomegranate arils. (Honey or lavendar infused honey can also be drizzled around the panna cotta).
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