Murphy’s Law comes into action when you least want it. Well, that is what Murphy’s Law is all about anyway. I have been very lazy and I have been postponing prepping for my next posts. I start working at the eleventh hour and then, when things start going haywire I start to curse myself for not having learnt the lesson from the past. However, since it was my 100th post and I wanted everything to go perfect to the ‘t’, I started prepping for this post two days back. However, some power up there ensured that by best laid plans were derailed. Sometimes I feel He does this deliberately to me just to test my patience which is not my virtue anymore.
15th had been a hectic day since it was India’s independence day and my daughter had participated in the school function. I was busy even the day before that helping her with her costumes and props etc. I made my purchases for this post a day before. However, the moment I set the milk to boil, it curdled. As I said earlier – I am lazy, once I am back from the market having done my grocery shopping, etc, I hate stepping out again for buying just one single thing. And living in a high rise building doesn’t make it any easier (even though the elevator works just fine) and then walking all the way to the parking…urrgghh I hate it!
And if that was not enough, when I started to compose and click for the post, the skies grew grey with heavy clouds and started raining pouring like there was no tomorrow. I love monsoon showers and the cool weather and relief they bring from the sultry Mumbai heat but now I am sick of it; especially when the over cast skies make it a herculean task to click pictures since I rely heavily on natural light for my pics. The monsoon season is long and strong for over two months each year in the coastal city of Mumbai. But now I am kind of waiting for it to recede.
I started fervently hoping for the skies to become clear and by late morning it indeed stopped raining albeit for just 20 minutes. I quickly started arranging the board, plates, unmoulded the pannacotta, thankfully I had made the chocolate sauce earlier, pulled out the camera and started clicking the photos. I must have clicked half a dozen pics, that too not no where near to my satisfaction, when it again started growing dark again. I couldn’t do much justice to the dish through these clicks but I am glad that at least I have something to present before you all and finally my 100th post came through J
I have a biasness towards most things savory, however, I could not add salt for sure, so it was chilies! In India we celebrate any happy occasion or festivals with sweets and my 100th post too had to be something sweet but I knew I wanted a savory presence to be there too. So in came the kick of chili in this pannacotta and although it is my first time having chili in a dessert, I must confess I loved it to the core! The chili is not pronounced and it beautifully generates a heat which is strangely addictive. The kick of chili, which sets in after the sweet flavors have settled, makes you crave for more spoonfuls of the pannacotta. For those who haven’t tried chili in their desserts/ sweets, I really hope you try it someday soon…coz you will be amazed by what its presence can do to a dessert!
For those new to pannacotta, the literal translation of this word in Italian is ‘cooked cream’. Traditionally it consists of cream and milk set in molds using gelatin to achieve a soft consistency. It is traditionally served with honey although fruit compote or a simple syrup such as pomegranate syrup (recipe will follow soon on EFS) makes for a great combination. There can’t be a more simple and elegant looking dessert that tastes great too! My husband who was aghast seeing me add chilies to the milk was very skeptical of this pudding but his final verdict was – this is the best pudding that he ever had!! So why not try it for yourself J
For the Pannacotta you will need the following ingredients,
¼ tsp vanilla bean powder (I used Fab India brand) or ½ tsp good quality vanilla essence
½ tsp medium hot chili flakes or 1 medium hot dry red chili (remove the seeds)
2½ tsp gelatin powder for a firm set pannacotta (I used 2 tsp for a softer pannacotta)
A little oil to lightly grease the molds
Grease the molds with just a little oil.
Heat 1 cup milk in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Add sugar and keep stirring the pot for 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla and the chili flakes (I chopped them fine with a knife rather than making the powder) Let the mixture steep.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin powder over ½ cup of warm milk. Let it ‘bloom’ for 10 minutes. If it still doesn’t soften and mix well, gently warm the milk stirring till the gelatin is dissolved. (Ensure that the gelatin milk stays warm and not hot during this process. Remove the milk from the heat if it starts to get hot.) You can sieve the milk to ensure that the gelatin is mixed evenly.
Whisk the curd till no lumps are there. (I gradually added the warm chili milk in batches to the curd and whisked the yogurt along) Now whisk in the half cup milk with gelatin.
Pour the mix into the prepared molds and cover with cling film.
Keep the molds in refrigerator till the pudding is set – at least 6 hours but preferably overnight or up to 24 hours is even better.
To release the pudding from the mold, run the knife across the sides and gently tap the bottom turned up side down on the serving plate. If the pudding does not release, tip in the bottom of the mold into hot water for 6-8 seconds and turn it over on the serving plate.
For the Chocolate Sauce
1 cup dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate, chopped
In the bran marie (water bath/double boiler), mix in all the ingredients and stir gently till they are well incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add butter. Stir till butter has melted. Let the sauce become warm before you pour it over or around the pannacotta.
Note: This dessert can be kept for up to 2 days in refrigerator. Ensure that you use a cling wrap to cover it.
Also announcing the winner of my first give away…Drum roll please…and the lucky winner of the first giveaway by EFS is…
True Random Number Generator2Powered by RANDOM.ORG MEENA KUMAR of Elephants and The Coconut Trees blog Congrats my dear. Hoping that you will enjoy this book and try as many recipes…happy cooking! Please send in the details of the address where the book needs to be delivered.
Write in to me at – easyfoodsmith (at) gmail (dot) com
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Congratulations on 100 with a beautiful sweet dessert with some spice, a perfect balance. I hear you on murphy’s law..totally true, and ghoshhh, the weather acts funny only when we are in a crunch to make things work and you have made it work, looks really nice. Keep it coming.
This happens to me too! The worst things happen when I have no time for them. Nevetheless, and despite the hard time you had,you made one beautiful pannacotta to celebrate your 100th post. Congratulations for both of them!
I really enjoyed your post. So honest and innocent it sounded 🙂 And what a superb idea to top a chilled creamy sweet Panacotta with red chilli flakes. I must try that some day. Congrats on your 100th post 🙂