Men Who Cook – Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote by Manav Paul
He is another incredibly creative man we know who’s actually followed his passion and made cooking his profession. He switched gears from product management in telecom to what sounds like a fantasy to us – living and working in Goa, running one of Goa’s coolest restaurants.
And as Valentine’s Day gets closer, his recipe comes at a perfect time. This is a simple Vanilla Panna Cotta recipe that is soft and wobbly and sweet and tart and oh so deliciously sexy. Make these ahead of time for a perfect finisher to your romantic Valentine’s dinner and keep those extra servings for a much needed midnight snack later.
Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote
Time: 20 minutes
Cooking & setting time: 6 hours
Serves 4 (Or 2 people who’re going to want that second helping an hour or so later)
For the Panna Cotta:
200 ml Fresh Cream (Amul is a reliable brand)
50gm Powdered Sugar
1/2 Vanilla Bean (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out) or 1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract
2 gm unflavoured Powdered Gelatin
2 tbs Cold Water
For the Berry/Orange compote:
120gm frozen Mixed Berries or Orange
30gm Powdered Sugar
Combine cream and 50gm sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract) and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Discard vanilla bean pod. Pour the 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl, add in gelatine powder and let it sit for around 10 minutes – no stirring. Pour the simmered cream mixture over gelatine and stir until all the gelatine is dissolved. Pour your cream mixture into 4 serving glasses or moulds and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.
Place your frozen mixed berries (or frozen strawberries or oranges) along with 30gm sugar in a medium saucepan and heat on a medium to high flame until the fruit is melted and soft, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove your compote from the stove and let it cool.
When the panna cotta has set and is ready to be served, spoon your beautiful berry compote over the serving glasses and top with a mint leaf if you like.
Note: If you use oranges instead of berries, you can also add dry red chilly strips in the cream mixture to give it a mildly spicy kick, and adding a little coconut cream along with vanilla is great too. As a rule of thumb, use 1gm of gelatin to 100 ml of liquid. To see if there is enough, place a plate on very cold, iced water and add a couple of drops of panna cotta and see if it sets in half a minute.