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The Hungry Girls – Yoghurt and White Chocolate Pannacotta

by Jenny Butler
Friday 20th January 2012

After a week filled with savory Hungry Girls recipes, we finish this Guest Blog feast with something sweet! Today will be even sweeter for the winner of all 3 editions of The Hungry Girls’ Cookbooks, congratulations Redshoes (comment #57). A huge thank you to Katherine, Leah and Rachel for such an amazing week, it has been fantastic! Keep up with this clever group by visiting The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook website and blog here. -Jenny x

Yoghurt would have to be one of my favourite ingredients. It doesn’t often play the hero, but a bowl with stewed home-grown apricots cold from the fridge is enough to make me go watery eyed. Mango lassis, so thick that the straw stands up and not too sweet, are amazingly good; and a little pot of lightly drained yoghurt flavoured with saffron, rosewater, cardamom and a pinch of sugar is the best end to an Indian meal.

On the savoury side of things, yoghurt is essential in marinated meat such as tandoori chicken and adds a lovely tang to Middle Eastern soups. It also forms the creamy base of a favourite Southern Indian salad called pachadi with fried onion, mustard seeds, curry leaves, coconut (desiccated works just fine) and almost any kind of vegetable. Last summer I was making it regularly with the huge glut of beans from our garden (the recipe can be found on the Hungry Girls blog).

Here is a recipe for yoghurt and white chocolate pannacotta from The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook Volume 3. The pannacotta has just enough white chocolate added to the base of yoghurt, cream and milk to give a velvet texture and hint of wickedness; but not enough to make it too sweet or cloying. The dessert is perfect served with fruit such as lightly stewed rhubarb, fresh strawberries mixed with balsamic vinegar, or even just slices of crisp pear. It is also lovely with biscuits, such as old-fashioned almond bread.

Yoghurt and white chocolate pannacotta

Makes 6–8 pannacottas

1 ½ titanium gelatine leaves (equal to 2 ¼ teaspoons powdered gelatine)
120 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
250 ml cream
100 ml milk
3 tablespoons sugar
500 ml natural yoghurt

Fill a bowl with cold water and add the gelatine leaves, allowing them to soften for 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring every so often until melted and smooth. At the same time, put the cream, milk and sugar in a separate saucepan and heat gently until almost boiling, then remove from the heat.

Remove the gelatine from the bowl of water, squeezing it out, and stir into the hot cream until dissolved. Stir a generous splash of cream into the chocolate until smooth, then transfer all the chocolate into the saucepan of cream and stir well. Finally, stir in the yoghurt.

Pour into metal moulds (or ramekins, or Asian tea cups) and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, if you make the pannacotta in the morning, refrigerate it for the whole day.

To serve, dip each pannacotta into a bowl of hot water to loosen it from the cup, then turn out onto a plate. (How long the pannacotta needs in hot water depends on the cup you’ve used – metal cups need only briefly, while ceramic cups need 10 seconds or more. If the pannacotta is almost coming out, don’t be afraid to gently shake and tap the cup above the plate as it should still come out in one piece.)

- Rachel, Leah and Katherine x


by Jenny Butler
Friday 20th January 2012

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