I also would like to share how I unmoulded my Panna Cotta. Note this only works with panna cotta that comes with a sugar syrup to serve along. If it doesn't comes with a syrup to serve along, well then tweak it and reduce the sugar in the Panna Cotta and make a syrup to go with it. Because, if you have discovered what I'm about to tell you, you will never see Panna Cotta the same way again and unmoulding using hot water would be a fuss for you, simply because this is too easy!
The trick starts with using the right cup to hold your Panna Cotta. Use plastic cups, trust me. Any other cups will work too but plastic cup greatly ease the removals of these babies. Look at the picture above. You can serve it in its cup but it doesn't look that elegant compared to the first picture isn't it? There wasn't much to dress up because Panna Cotta simply speaks for itself. Luscious, beautiful wobbly little thing.
Having said that, if you also notice, many recipes that serve Panna Cotta in its mould often ask you to 'pour the syrup over only upon serving'. The reason is that the sugar syrup will soon find its way down the sides of the Panna Cotta and ingeniously loosen up the sides and edges for you. No thin, warm and wet knife, no soaking in hot water and count 1 to 10 required. So pour the cooled syrup (not the slightest warm is allowed!) over the Panna Cotta and let it sit for 5 minutes or even less.
Have a serving plate and place it over the Panna Cotta. Flip it upside down in one quick motion and wiggle it around. Don't worry about the Panna Cotta, it will not break apart, the recipe I'm about to provide makes the best texture Panna Cotta for me. Hold the plastic cup and press tt around, with your thumb and other fingers moving it in a circular motion. The Panna Cotta will just plop out onto the plate beautifully and the syrup acts as a lubricant and allows you to position your Panna Cotta at the centre.
Easy nifty little trick? Well of course, if you already know so, well, thanks for dropping by anyway :)
Chai Panna Cotta
(serves 2 or 3)
2/3 cup heavy cream or double cream
2 Chai Tea Bags (don't use Lipton, use those good stuffs, I'll take a picture of mine next time)
1 cup of spring water, not reboiled water from your electric kettle
2 tbsp castor sugar
2 tsp gelatine powder
Place 3 tbsp of the spring water (not hot) in a shallow plate. Sprinkle over the 2 tsp gelatine and let it swell for 5 minutes.
Combine the Chai tea leaves and remaining spring water in a small milk pot. Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat. Infuse for a couple of minutes and add in the sugar. Stir until dissolved turn off the heat. Sprinkle over the gelatine and whisk a minute until it has completely dissolved. Stir in the double cream and whisk to combine very well. Pour it into 2 or 3 tall plastic cups (those that you use for parties would do) and chill it in the fridge until set. Generally, overnight is the best since that will make sure your gelatine will not set/gel any further. I place it in a dessert fridge in my room so it doens't take on my leftover curry smell or my durian cheesecake smell. If you have to, cool it down completely, and cover with a plastic wrap before lacing it back in the fridge again to set.
1 star anise
1 cardamom pod, bruised
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp water
Make a syrup with all the above and infuse a while to let the star anise and cardamom pod flavoured the syrup. Coll and chill it in the fridge until cold. If too thick, thin it down with water. To unmould, pour the syrup evenly over the plastic cups and let it stand for a couple of minutes. When all syrup has settled to the bottom of the cup, flip it onto a serving plate and wiggle until it plop out gently.
Serve immediately or chill in fridge until ready to serve.
I'm pretty fussy about my Chai. Chai simply means tea and I like using store bought springwater for it. Water boiled over and over again simply will not do because the bond between hydrogen and oxygen is broken. It makes for a very dull tasting tea to my palate. I also always open up the Chai Tea Bags and you'll be wondering the whole point of getting tea bags is so you save the hassle of having to strain it. But tea leaves will not release its full flavour if bounded by a muslin bag, not even if you press it well against the side of you cup. Any simmering longer than 5 minutes will make it bitter so don't think, the longer the infusion, the better. It doesn't work with Chai and Matcha. I feel all that makes a difference because I am fussy as I've said. I wouldn't call myself the tea connoisseur but this is what I drink. Feel free to use what you like, say use whatever water you want and keep the teabags intact.