Strawberry Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Honey

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Sous Chef
Nov 7, 2004
Sydney, Australia
The taste of strawberries and honey still lingers in my mouth. Made this for the first time tonight and it was exquisite.

4 cups halved hulled strawberries
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1 envelope = 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons honey

Puree 2 cups of the strawberries until smooth and pass through a strainer/sieve pressing through the mixture to extract as much as you can.

Combine milk, cream and sugar together in a saucepan and mix well. Sprinkle the gelatine over the mixture and allow to stand for about 10 minutes to let the gelatine soften. Then put the saucepan over a very low to low heat and whisk constantly until the gelatine is dissolved and the mixture is lukewarm, do not let the mixture boil.

Remove it from the heat and whisk in the pureed strawberries and vanilla extract. Put into ramekins of chosen size, (or failing that perhaps expresso cups or regular coffee mugs, anything with sloping, rounded sides has a nice effect) just be sure to fill the cups almost to the brim to prevent the panna cotta spreading when you remove it. Whack them into the fridge to set for at least 3 hours or over night.

Pour the honey over the remaining 2 cups of strawberries, toss to coat them, cover, and put into the fridge. Mixing occaisionally to continually coat the strawberries. Before you serve the dessert, take the strawberries and honey out of the fridge for 30 minutes to allow to come to room temperature.

Get out the panna cottas, run a knife round the sides and place the bottoms into hot water for 30 seconds to loosen. Invert each onto a plate and shake gently for it to come out. Spoon the strawberries and honey mixture over and around each and serve.

They were delightful, approval from all those that had it. It is great with some sliced or torn fresh mint leaves over the top. But this is definitely a recipe that you can muck around with, changing the strawberries for raspberries, blueberries etc. You could even use basil instead of the mint for an interesting but delicious change. I'm sure you could add some liquer of your choice to the strawberries and honey mixture, or perhaps combine some mint in with that so the flavour infuses with it.

In other words, go nuts.
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