Sep. 16th, 2013

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NGC 206 and the Star Clouds of Andromeda

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Lemon panna cotta with blackberries & honey madeleines

Ingredients

FOR THE PANNA COTTA
3 leaves of gelatin (see tip at bottom of page)
600ml double cream
150ml milk
200g caster sugar
zest and juice 2 lemons
zest 1 lime

FOR THE PANNA COTTA
3 leaves of gelatin (see tip at bottom of page)
600ml double cream
150ml milk
200g caster sugar
zest and juice 2 lemons
zest 1 lime

Instructions
For the panna cotta, put 6 small pudding moulds (about 120ml each) on a baking tray. Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of very cold water (see tip, below) and set aside.

Put the cream, milk and sugar into a large pan and bring slowly to the boil. When the cream is boiling, add the lemon juice and the lemon and lime zest and whisk well. Simmer for a few mins until reduced slightly, then turn off the heat.

Scoop the softened gelatin out of the water and squeeze off any excess water. Stir into the hot cream, leave until just warm, then strain the cream into a jug. Carefully pour the mix into the moulds and place in the fridge for at least 5 hrs until completely set - overnight is ideal.

To make the madeleines, beat the eggs with the sugar and honey until light and airy. Whisk in the flour and ground almonds until completely incorporated, then gradually whisk in the cooled, melted butter. The batter can be made several hrs in advance.

To bake the madeleines, heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Generously butter, then flour, the madeleine or bun tins. Spoon the batter into the tins and bake for 10-12 mins, depending on the size of the tins.

When the madeleines are golden and baked all the way through, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 mins. Tip out of the tin and bake another batch, if you need to. Drizzle the blackberries with liqueur, if using.

To unmould the panna cottas, run the tip of a knife around the edge of the mould. Dip the mould briefly into hot water until the filling just comes away from the sides. Use your fingers to gently loosen the panna cotta away from the edges of the mould. When you are confident that it will turn out, reverse the mould onto a serving plate and gently lift off, releasing the contents.

To plate up, unmould a panna cotta in the middle of each plate, pouring over any melted mix from the mould. Arrange blackberries around half of the panna cotta. Place a few madeleines on the opposite side of the plate. Spoon over a little of the blackberry juices from the bowl and serve straight away.

Cooking with gelatin

Chefs generally use leaf rather than powdered gelatin as it’s more reliable and easier to use, but it requires soaking and softening in cold water before it can be dissolved in hot liquid. If your kitchen is very warm and there is a chance that the soaking water might heat up, then ice the water as a precautionary measure. Leaf gelatin used to be harder to find than powdered, but now it is readily available in most supermarkets - just look in the baking section.

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