Republished due to several requests…I’ve made this easy Donna Hay  panna cotta recipe many times . Add some raspberries to the bottom of your glasses and sprinkle some muesli on top once set to make a Mother’s Day breakfast/brunch treat!

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon gelatine powder
2 tablespoons water
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 cup (250ml) single cream
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 tablespoon honey
1 handful raspberries

Place the gelatine and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed.

Place the buttermilk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the gelatine and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the gelatine is dissolved. [NB Don’t overheat as the mix will curdle]

Strain and allow to cool completely.

Place 1 teaspoon of honey in the bases of 4 x 1/2 cup-capacity (125ml) glasses. Pour over the cream mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

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A Maggie Beer Masterchef masterclass, this is a rich dessert that takes time to prepare but is worth the effort. I use a loose base tart pan which makes it easy to serve. Serve with double cream.

Serves 12

Ingredients:

Pot Roasted Quinces

750g Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
Squeeze of lemon juice
300ml water
200ml verjuice
165g castor sugar

Chocolate and almond cream

120g unsalted butter, softened
150g fine castor sugar
200g ground almond meal
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
80ml vino cotto
50g dark chocolate cocoa

Sour Cream Pastry

200g Chilled unsalted butter
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 170c.

Once you have peeled and cored the quince place in pot of water with a squeeze of lemon and set aside, to help stop oxidising.

To pot roast the quinces, place the quinces, water, verjuice and sugar into a medium sized pot, place this over a high heat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, then give the quinces a very light toss making sure not to break up the wedges. Place back into the oven.

Check the quinces every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not all evaporated, if it starts to and looking like that they will catch on the bottom and an extra 100mls of verjuice. They will take between 2 and 2 ½ hours to cook.

Once the quinces are cooked they should be a beautiful ruby red colour and a small amount of syrup left in the base of the pot. They should not be dry or the caught on the base of the pot. Remove the quinces from the pot and place onto a plate or tray and set aside to cool.

Increase the temperature oven to 200c

for the filling –

To make the almond cream, place the butter and castor sugar in to a food mixer, beat until light and creamy (approx 6 minutes).

Add the eggs and yolk (1 at a time) then cocoa, vino cotto and mix for further 1 minute.

Add the almond meal, mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

for the pastry –

To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add ¾ the sour cream, pulse a couple of times then add the remaining sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Tip the pastry out onto the bench, bring it together and form it in to a rectangle (approx 2cm thick) with your hands. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to rest.

Roll out the sour cream pastry to 3mm thick.

Grease a flan tin (23cm x 2.5cm) and line with the pastry, cut off the excess pastry around the edge but allow the pastry to come above the fin tin by 5mm, this is due to the pastry shrinking during blind baking. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

Remove from the tart shell from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, line the top with bake well paper and place blind baking beans on the top.

Blind bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and bake well paper, cook for a further 5 minutes then remove.

Reduce the oven temperature to 175c

Place one third of the chocolate and almond cream mix on the base of the tart shell. Top with cooked quince wedges and dot the remaining amount of chocolate almond cream on top of the quinces.

Return the tart to the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, this time will depend on the oven, but need to make sure that the almond cream is cooked in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

A delicious Maggie Beer recipe to slow cook on a wet afternoon, enjoying the cooking aromas and heat from the oven before eating  for dinner. I serve this with a green bean, pistachio cous cous, but mashed potatoes would be just as tasty.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

17 cloves garlic
8 milk-fed lamb shanks
12 sprigs rosemary
Extra-virgin olive oil
5 quarters preserved lemon
8 bay leaves
500 ml verjuice
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 120C.

Finely chop 3 of the garlic cloves and put them into a heavy-based non-reactive pot with the shanks, rosemary and a splash of olive oil.

Brown the meat on the stove over a low heat, turning it regularly.

Remove the pulp from the preserved lemons, then rinse the rind and cut each piece in half.

Put the preserved lemon and remaining ingredients into the pot with the shanks and stir to mix.

Cover the pot with a lid, then bake very slowly or 4 hours.

French onion soup

May 8, 2011

An adaptation of Skye Gyngell’s ‘Panade of slow-cooked onions with Gruyere’, this is a simple, tasty soup. I replace apple brandy with brandy or you could use white wine.  A good quality (or homemade) vegetable stock works just as well as chicken stock.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
50g unsalted butter
4 brown onions, peeled and very finely sliced
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
50ml apple brandy
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
750ml chicken or vegetable stock

to serve –

4 slices of good quality white bread
1 garlic clove, halved
120g Gruyere, grated
handful of curly parsley very finely chopped

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar and add a pinch of salt. Sweat gently for 20 minutes until very soft. The onions will deepen in colour as the sugar and butter begin to caramelise.

When the onions are really soft, add the brandy and increase the heat to reduce the liquor, cooking off the alcohol. Add the herbs and pour in the stock.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until the stock has reduced slightly and the flavour is deep and intense. Discard the herbs.

Toast the slices of bread until golden brown on both sides. Rub with the cut garlic clove while still hot and place one slice in each warm soup plate. Ladle over the onion broth and sprinkle with the Gruyere. Finish with a grinding of pepper and a sprinkling of parsley if you like.