Day 130 – Plated dessert

One of my brilliant friends, Gerry, is a food genius. She constantly makes the most amazing food (she was even on Bulgarian Masterchef!), but her speciality is desserts and cakes. A couple of weeks ago she’d made a cake and made a special socially distanced trip just so she could share some slices of it with us – I’m so lucky to have such talented friends! I will never say no to trying one of her creations, it is always, every single time, the most amazing thing I’ve tasted. She suggested making a plated dessert earlier in the year, but when she created a special one for her husband, then shared the recipe with me, I knew now was the time.

Gerry’s creation – elderflower pannacotta with strawberry and lime caramel, and ruby chocolate ganache.

She shared the seemingly simple recipe with me to test and gave options to swap a few ingredients, which I appear to have taken up every opportunity to do so. I swapped elderflower for basil, ruby chocolate for white chocolate, and pistachios for almonds. I ran everything by the masterchef, and she confirmed it would be ok, so I continued with confidence.

Everything seemed to be going to plan, until halfway through making some of the other elements, I noticed the pannacotta I’d made earlier in the day wasn’t setting. I put in the freezer, ready to serve a little later, and hoped for the best.

When the time came to serve, I followed her (very helpful) plating instructions diligently. Making something look nice does not come naturally to me, my general rule is taste over looks, which is why I pushed myself to decorate a cake nicely in January, and why I pushed myself to do this. When plating up, it soon became clear that not only had the pannacotta not set, neither had the ganache, and everything looked like it had just gone splat on the plate!

It kind of looks intentional…
The power of a good picture

I laughed so much at my pannacotta soup, it looked like one of those amazing Pinterest Fails, but I stopped laughing when I tasted it – it was incredible. Everything was so perfectly balanced: a great combination of textures and flavours made sure every mouthful was different, I think it’s one of the tastiest things I ever made.

After a post-match debrief with the creator, we realised that I hadn’t put enough gelatine in the pannacotta: one leaf of mine weighed 1.2g, hers had weighed 5g, big difference! The recipe gave enough quantities for four, so I actually had another two pannacottas in the fridge. Gerry recommended heating the spares and adding another leaf of gelatine. I followed the advice and plated the dessert again the next day, only to find my pannacotta wouldn’t come out of the glass this time! I can’t win.

Day 2 – More wobble in my pannacotta

I eventually got it out, it stayed up, and dare I say, it tasted even better than the previous days? I’m so happy I managed to recreate it, whilst naturally adding a Hannah spin on things. I will 100% be making this again!

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