Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with ginger Caramel

"Pumpkin Everythang”

We end Pumpkin month with a final dessert

While brainstorming dessert ideas for pumpkin month I saw another blogger make a coconut panna cotta it looked like a dish of queso fresco. I thought what’s a Panna cotta? GOOGLE!!
It’s a word I have heard before, but I was not really one hundred percent sure what it was. At first sight I thought it was a flan, but after more reading realized it’s the flans Italian cousin that uses no eggs. Its basically a pudding served cold.

 Just based off the texture of pumpkin alone I knew it would make a great panna cotta. And nothing could complement this more than a ginger caramel on top. However, as your read in the previous post, I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie, and I was worried that the pumpkin panna cotta would just be a crust less pumpkin pie. I was not entirely wrong. The texture was much smoother; it’s very creamy and extremely light almost like it was a mousse. If you’re a fan of mousses in general you would really love this. My favorite part had to be the ginger caramel, very rich and sweet.  The texture of the panna cotta is not for me, the flavor was yummy, but I need some crunch, its too smooth. Some candied ginger, fresh or grilled fruit on top could help to add a little variety in the texture. However some people may like the smooth creamy dessert just the way it is.

While the Panna cotta recipe is pretty basic, since it was my first time making this, or eating this I had to go to school to learn to make a caramel; Youtube University that is. Mario Batali has a really good vid on how to make a caramel, also chef john from food wishes made a lovely salted caramel. I have to admit the caramel is my favorite part about this dessert. There is a half jar of caramel left over, which I’m either going to make some ice cream Sundays, or caramel centered chocolate cupcakes…its really good.

Try out this simple and easy recipe.  I believe in cooking we should always try new and different things. It’s such a versatile art, and it’s accessible to us all. This month I made and shared nine new recipes that I have never made before all with pumpkin. It was fun

Makes apx 8

Ingredients (printable recipe)

Panna cotta
2 cups c heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
2 packet gelatin
6  tbsp cold water

Ginger Caramel ( you will have extra)
1 cup sugar
¾ cup heavy Cream
1 tbsp. ginger powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ stick butter


Start with the ginger caramel,
  1. Slice up your butter into little cubes
  2. Dissolve the ginger powder into the heavy cream
  3. Place sugar in a large wide pan on medium heat and allow the sugar to melt
  4. Continually stirring with a whisk, make sure to keep sugar off the sides
  5. This takes a few minutes, don’t get discouraged it will eventually melt and once it does the process takes off very quickly
  6. While the sugar is heating put gelatin in the cold water and let it bloom
  7. Once all the sugar crystals are dissolved and you’re looking at a very pale yellow/white liquid remove the whisk and do not mix any more.
  8. Watch the caramel as the color gets darker as the sugar gets hotter, swirl the pot around to mix. What is actually happening is the sugar is burning, don’t allow it to get too dark or else it will be bitter
  9. I remove mine from the heat just as it’s about to reach a nice golden color because the residual heat from the molten sugar is going to continue to cook it
  10. Once it’s off the heat pour in the heavy cream mixture and stir
  11. Once that’s done stir in your butter, and set aside, your ginger caramel is done

For the panna cotta

  1. While the gelatin in soaking warm the cream and sugar in a sauce pan
  2. When the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat add the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg stir
  3. Pour the hot mixture into the gelatin water make sure to mix and get rid of all the lumps of gelatin.
  4. Grease your containers and spoon in some caramel to the bottom followed by the panna cotta mixture
  5. Then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours 4 is best or even over night
  6. To remove from the ramekins, run a knife around the edges and turn them out on a dish. 

My panna cotta was actually ready and completely set after one hour.

Greedy Tips: 
  • You can either add your caramel at the end when the panna cotta has set up, or you can do what I did an pour it in with the mixture. 
  • If you like your panna cotta less sweet, you can use 1/3 cup of sugar 
  • Store the extra caramel in a clean jar in the fridge
  • Make sure to keep your eye on the sugar while its browning, its gets very dark very quickly
  • Some methods add a tsp of water to the sugar just to get it melting faster
  • Don't be tempted to turn up your stove at the beginning stages of making the caramel, the sugar takes a while to melt, but once it does the process moves very quickly and if the heat is too high it will move even faster and you may have a bitter caramel

Trust me with these tips, my first try at the caramel I was on high heat and I kept the caramel on the flames a little too long it got really dark and was extremely bitter. Thats when I decided to remove it from the heat just before it reached the color I wanted. Lots of people use thermometors to check the temp to know when its ready but I just used my eyes and judged based off the color and it worked....the second time that is lol

Well folks I am very pleased to say Pumpkin month is officially over, our journey has taken us through the soup, salad, appetizer, main, pasta and dessert courses all using pumpkin. Stay tuned to see whats in store for greedy girl come Friday November 1st.

In case you missed it...

 Cheesy Garlic pumpkin bread

 Pumpkin coconut leek soup

 Warm kale and pumpkin salad

 Scotch pumpkins not eggs

 Boneless citrus ginger Cornish hens stuffed with pumpkin sausage rice

 Pumpkin sausage and raisin rice

 Pumpkin gnocchi with white wine cream cheese sauce

Pumpkin rum cake

Xoxo Greedygirl 

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