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Brown sugar panna cotta with dates
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3 sheets gelatine
350ml double cream
150ml whole milk
50g light brown soft sugar
6 medjool dates
200g golden caster sugar
20g unsalted butter
1. Submerge the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the cream, milk and light brown soft sugar in a medium pan and bring to a simmer. Just before it reaches the boil, remove from the heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then whisk into the hot cream mixture until dissolved and smooth. Divide between 4 ramekins, serving glasses or lightly greased dariole moulds. Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge to set (for at least 4 hours).
2. Meanwhile, pit the dates, then slice into strips or wedges. Put the golden caster sugar in a small pan and squeeze in the juice of 1 orange (about 75ml). Add 2 tbsp water and bring to the boil over a medium heat, swirling so the sugar dissolves. Add the dates, then lightly bubble for 4-5 minutes, until you have a rich golden caramel. Add the butter with a pinch of sea salt, then remove from the heat, stirring until the butter is incorporated. Transfer to a bowl or container and cool, covering the surface with baking parchment.
3. Peel the remaining orange, then segment it or cut into thin rounds. Serve the panna cotta (either in the serving glasses or turned out onto a plate if using lightly greased moulds) with spoonfuls of the date caramel and slices or segments of orange.
Cook’s tip: Store any leftover date caramel in the fridge for up to 4 days and use it on ice cream or rippled through yogurt.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2020.