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Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Mucking Around

I've been doing a bit of this and that these few weeks.... Mainly stressing about a dinner party in Hampton last Sunday. I was in charge of the dessert, and I decided to use the pannacotta and crostoli recipes from Maurizio Terzini: Something Italian. The pannacotta recipe is not easy as I found out.... My first attempt, without any proper measurement and not all the ingredients... came out too creamy and little stiffer than I wanted. I even wasted cream because I whipped it too hard with a hand beater and turned the cream to butter... I had to send M out for another tub. Likewise, the crostoli had a bitter lemony taste to it.... Armed with the right ingredients, I was suppose to prepare the dessert on Saturday ready for Sunday but had been so busy doing other things that I remembered at 12am Sunday that I needed to make the pannacotta for it to set properly in time!

So in my pajamas, I made the pannacotta...while waiting for the pannacotta mixture to cool, I hand-whipped the cream.... I think this is really the only way to whip cream.. it takes a lot of effort but the result is worth it - smooth soft cream at just the right consistency. I actually changed the recipe a little - decreasing the sugar, adding one 1/2 more vanilla sticks and instead of 8 gelatine leaves I used 7. I also put the Bortylis in the cooking part rather than at the end. I read an article in Epicure today about the Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato 2006... I might make a pannacotta with lots of that... as it sounds delicious... "A naughty pale pink with sweet grapey, apple flavours, seductively presents as a subtle, low 6.4% alcohol, mouth tingling, crown sealed fizz. Drink this summer when young and fresh. Yummy with strawberries and ice cream or just to sip on around the pool."

OH yes, the pannacotta and crostoli were a success... (I served chilled thin slices of riped mangoes with it) even after a multi-course dinner they was a refreshing dessert and helped us slow the absorption of some very delicious red wine that night. Anna and Dave made fantastic side dishs and slow cook mains... My favourite was the roast duck where the meat just fell off the bones and melted in your mouth. Second was the dumplings modified from a recipe from Harumi Kurihara: Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking... Of course third was the pannacotta!

Here is the official menu from Sunday:

*We didn't make the linguine because we decided that there was too much food already.

No pictures from the night, sorry... we ate everything too quickly...

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