Winter was rigorous, Spring has been nonexistent around here. It's the middle of May and I'm yet to change my closet, moving winter coats and sweaters until the next cold season. Little dresses, light clothes or sandals are a far sight while temperatures refuse to go up and rain move to different latitudes. Today we have a glorious sun and the promise of a springy day... I'll let you know if my lighter clothes had the chance to see daylight or if I've been mislead by the beautiful sunshine outside. One perfect way to celebrate a sunny day is a colourful dessert. There's nothing easier to make than a panna cotta. C'mon Spring!
Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis
Adapted slightly from Laura Zavan, Dolce, Marabout.
200ml double cream
250ml whole milk
3 gelatine leaves
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
40g granulated sugar
Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft. Heat the double cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Add vanilla pod and seeds and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Remove the bean (clean, dry and use into sugar for flavour and aroma).
Lightly oil the cups with a neutral-tasting oil. Pour the milk mixture and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for 2 hours, until set.
for the coulis:
200g strawberries, hulled and halved (reserve 2 or 3 smaller, prettier ones to serve)
25g caster sugar (or more, if your strawberries are on the tart side)
1 tbsp sweet white wine
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
Bring the wine and sugar to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the strawberries and lemon zest (if using) and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and discard (eat!) the fruit pulp.
Run a sharp knife around the edge of each panna cotta and unmold onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with the reserved strawberries and extra blueberries (optional).