Chai Spiced Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is one of our ultimate desserts – soft, wobbly and filled with flavour! If it’s possible, this chai spiced version is even better than the typical vanilla ones you often see. Already massive fans of Elise’s food blog, we were really excited when she agreed to share her recipe for this minimalist dessert with us! Make sure to carve out some time this weekend to try out a new take on an old favourite. We asked her to tell us a bit about it and what inspired the flavours.

I am ready for the apples, the pumpkins and the pears. For wearing my favorite sweater and hiding underneath the duvet. For morning walks in the golden light and late afternoon strolls through a darkening city. For evenings on the couch and slow weekends in the kitchen. For hearty meals, hot breakfasts and warm beverages. But most of all, for the extra time that the shorter days seem to yield and all the stillness that fall brings to my heart. – Elise, Les Filles de Madeleine

I spiced this panna cotta with instant chai latte powder. Since brands can differ, check the instructions on the package to see how much powder you’d need for 500ml (I used slightly less than instructed). Alternatively, you could infuse the cream with fresh chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and so on). I also used gelatin sheets, as they are the most common where I live. You could substitute the sheets with powdered gelatin or even agar-agar, but you’ll have to do some research and check the instructions of the product you’re using. Also note that I used a little less gelatin than usually called for, for the 500ml of liquid. 

Panna Cotta

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500ml Heavy cream
  • 100g Granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Chai latte powder (or according to instructions)
  • 7g Gelatine sheets

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and chai latte powder and heat on medium.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water.
  3. When the cream reaches a boil, remove from heat immediately. Wring gelatine sheets to remove excess water and stir them into the cream.
  4. Once the gelatine has been incorporated, divide cream into four, heat-proof ramekins. Let cool slightly on the counter, then move ramekins to the fridge and allow to cool for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, remove panna cotta from the fridge and put ramekins into hot water for one to two minutes, before inverting them onto a plate. If the panna cotta won’t come out, run a knife along the edges of the ramekin or submerge into hot water for a little longer. Serve with caramelized pears and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts.

Caramelized pears

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium pears (ripe but still firm) peeled, cored and sliced
  • 20g Unsalted butter
  • 50g Dark brown sugar

Method

  1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and sugar.
  2. Once the butter has melted and the sugar is starting to dissolve, add the pear slices. 
  3. Let cook on medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the pears halfway through, until they are tender and caramelized.