Clever Jane-Anne creates all manner of recipes for all manner of products. Here she creates a fabulous dessert with a real cape gooseberry sauce. Verjuice is the juice of mid summer harvest grapes, a product in use in Elizabethan times.
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Verjuice Gooseberry Compote
For the panna cotta
300 ml cream
300 ml full-cream milk
5 Tbsp (75 ml) caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, or a few drops of good vanilla extract
4 tsp (20 ml) tepid water
2 tsp (10 ml) gelatine powder
For the compote
200 g cape gooseberries
½ cup (125 ml) Verjuice
2 Tbsp (30 ml) caster sugar (or more, to taste: see recipe)
Put the cream, milk and caster sugar into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add them to the pan (or add the vanilla extract, if you’re using that). Bring gradually to just below the boil, over a low heat, stirring now and then.
When the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and gently press a sheet of clingfilm directly onto the surface of the mixture (this will prevent a ‘skin’ forming). Set the cream aside to infuse for 45 minutes, or until it has cooled to blood temperature.
Put the water into a small teacup or ramekin, sprinkle over the gelatine and set aside to ‘sponge’ for 3 minutes. Now place the cup in a pan of simmering water (the water should come halfway up its sides) and leave it there for a 3 minutes, or until the gelatine has melted and the liquid is clear. Whisk this into the cream mixture, then strain the cream through a fine sieve into four wine glasses. Chill for at least 5 hours, or until the panna cotta has set, but is still very wobbly.
To make the compote, put the gooseberries, Verjuice and caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, skimming off any white foam as it rises. If the gooseberries are very tart, you may need to add a little more sugar. Simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the fruit is just beginning to collapse. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until very cold.
When you’re ready to serve, remove half the whole gooseberries from the bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside. Use a potato masher or fork lightly to crush the remaining berries. Spoon a layer of the crushed fruit over the top of the panna cottas, and top with the whole berries you put aside.
If you don’t have Verjuice, poach your gooseberries in a light sugar syrup. Here’s how: put ½ cup (125 ml) water into a saucepan and add 4 Tbsp (60 ml) caster sugar – or more, to taste, depending on how sour the fruit is. Bring gently to the boil, stirring occasionally. When the sugar has dissolved, add the gooseberries and continue with the recipe (paragraph 4, above).
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Jane-Anne Hobbs is a food writer de luxe. Recipe developer and photographer, she has written a stunning cookbook Scrumptious, click here to read my review. Always on the look out for low carb dishes, she has latterly come up with some stunners. When she is not in her kitchen Jane-Anne runs one of South Africa’s most successful food websites and Facebook page – http://www.whatsfordinner.co.za/
CLICK HERE to go to her website.