Clementine panna cotta with almond & fennel biscotti
This dessert has a refreshingly zesty zing
1 tbsp liquid glucose
175g caster sugar
1 tbsp water
2 sheets of gelatine leaf
400ml double cream
2 tbsp milk
Finely grated zest of 4 clementines, zest strips of another 4 clementines for garnish
Juice of 1 clementine
For the biscotti
230g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
170g caster sugar
95g soft butter
50g whole blanched almonds
2 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp almond extract
Icing sugar for dusting
Put the liquid glucose, half of the sugar and the water into a saucepan. Dissolve the sugar slowly over a low heat, stirring every now and then. If you notice sugar crystals forming on the inside of the pan, use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to clean around the sides of the pan just above the liquid line to help dissolve them. Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and cook without stirring until it becomes a light golden-brown caramel. Submerge the base of the pan into cold water to prevent the caramel cooking further. Set aside to cool.
Put four dariole moulds onto a baking tray. Put the cream and milk in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Lower the heat slightly so it remains at a steady boil. (Keep an eye on it as you don't want it creeping up the sides of the pan and boiling over; turn the heat down more if this happens.) Cook for about five minutes.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water to soften. Take the boiling cream off the heat and add the remaining sugar and finely grated clementine zest. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine sheets and add to the cream mixture. Stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool before adding the clementine juice.
Pour some of the caramel into the bottom of the dariole moulds. Slowly pour the creamy mixture on top and chill until set.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan-assisted/gas mark 3. Line two or three baking trays with baking parchment. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and toast the blanched almonds and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes until slightly toasted all over. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Mix the eggs with the almond extract and slowly add to the creamed butter. Stir through the flour, then fold through the almonds and fennel seeds.
Shape into three logs 10cm x 5cm and place onto the baking trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave on the baking tray and place onto a wire rack for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, cut into 1-2cm thick slices and lay directly onto the wire rack. Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy and dry. Cool completely before serving with the panna cottas. These store well in an air-tight container for two weeks or more. To remove the panna cottas, gently pull away the sides from the moulds with your thumb. Place a plate on top, turn over and gently shake to release.
Recipe by Jody Spencer
Tip: This is a good way to use up any leftover clementines, or you could use two oranges if you prefer.
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