This week I took delivery of some shiny, shiny new dariole moulds. I am sure my fellow cooks will share with me the excitement of a new kitchen purchase, however humble. The OH, however, seemed nonplussed as to my enthusiasm for some small metal cups.
The dariole moulds were bought with the aim of initiating myself into the ways of the wonderfully wobbly pannacotta. In particular, this recipe for Lizzie Kamenetzky’s summer berry jelly and white chocolate pannacotta which I ripped out of Delicious magazine an age ago and which has been on my list to try. My timing could have been better – summer berries not being that prolific in wintery Johannesburg but I did manage to track down some delicious cherries and a slightly sad punnet of strawberries which I supplemented with some fresh pomegranate.
I am not sure what size old Lizzie’s dariole moulds were but I managed to halve her recipe for six and make four desserts. Plus I still had loads of jelly left over. But that was fine with me as the jelly, made with sweet rosé wine, was delicious. I poured the leftovers over some of the remaining berries and had it as a snack. Cooks perks!
After watching many a Masterchef contestant swearing under their breath as the clock runs down and their pannacotta is still firmly ensconced in its mould, I feared that turning out these puds wouldn’t be easy. And I was right. I found this handy article online but no amount of dipping in hot water and increasingly vigorous shaking was going to release these babies. In the end I ended up winkling them out with my fingers, a tip I learnt whilst on work experience at a restaurant and tasked with turning out a multitude of retro crème caramels. It’s hard to explain but you kind of press gently on one side of the base with the fingers until the pud tilts and then you can gently curve your fingers round and ease the pud out. Not as disastrous as it sounds. Honest.
The finished desserts looked very pretty and only slightly worse for wear for their rather unceremonious journey to the plate. The pannacotta was tasty if a touch on the grainy side but it was that aforementioned jelly that was the star of the show. The fruit and jelly on their own would make a lovely low calorie summer dessert.
I think my pannacotta perfecting needs some practice so if you are reading and know of any great recipes, please share them with me below.