After school, my kids can be a bit post-institutionalised. They need to wind down and de-stress, and one of the best ways I’ve found to direct that slightly sensitive energy is into cooking.
This pannacotta recipe is particularly suited to an after-school cooking session, because it needs a few hours in the fridge to cool. If you make it in the afternoon, it should set nicely by dessert. There’s also a good amount of measuring – always a good job for little soux chefs – and best of all, there should be a few delicious creamy spoons to lick while processing the events of the day.
This recipe is adapted from the beautiful blog Smitten Kitchen. Using Greek yoghurt adds a lovely lightness and tang to the classic pannacotta, and raspberry sauce amplifies the deliciousness.
4 tablespoons (60 ml) water
2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
2 cups (460 grams) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2 cups (475 ml) cream
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1. Place water in a small bowl. Stir in gelatin and set aside until the gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk all of the yogurt and 1 cup of cream.
3. In a small saucepan, bring remaining cream and sugar to a simmer and then stir in water-gelatin mixture (it will dissolve immediately) and remove from heat.
4. Whisk this mixture into the yogurt mixture, then stir in lemon juice at the end.
5. Pour the mix into whatever container you are using. I used martini glasses, but you could do it in oiled cups, ready to unmould, or a larger cake pan. (The larger the container, the longer you will need to chill the pannacotta.) Use your imagination! This dessert would be lovely served in china tea-cups.
Simply and absolutely delicious, this recipe will make more raspberry sauce than you need. It will keep it in a jar in the fringe for at least a week, ready for use on ice-cream, in yogurt, stirred into cupcakes, or eaten late at night in front of the fridge with a spoon, Nigella-style.
Just place 500g frozen raspberries (or fresh, if you have them) on the stove over a low heat, with about 7 tablespoons sugar (check and add to your taste, but try not to over-sweeten), a quarter of a cup of water, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Stir until all is nicely melted together, and then blitz into a puree with a stick blender. Cool and refrigerate.
After dinner, get your set pannacottas out of the fridge and serve with a generous dollop of sauce.
Scoff greedily, lick the bowl, and don’t forget to congratulate your little chefs.