Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Panna Cota with Jamaica Infusion

Ideally this Panna Cota (Italian Custard) is best with Rose Infusion, but here I make it with the Jamaica (Hibiscus Flowers) because it's easier and cheaper to do.
If you are interested in the Rose Water/Infusion, let me know and I will post the "how to", this is a great thing and used for: facial tonic, aroma therapy, massages, mediation, baths, body spray and for cooking (great, huh?) Remember "Como Agua Para Chocolate"? Perfect for Valentine's Day.....
You will need:
750 ml whipping cream
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tbls Jamaica Reduction
2 flowers, preferably edible, red/pink ones (without fertilizer)
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
3 tbls water
1/2 cup milk
Mint leaves

Strawberry Coulis (sauce used for flavor and decoration)
1 cup strawberries (cleaned)
1/2 cup sugar

Jamaica Reduction:
1 cup Jamaica blossoms (dried)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water

Put yogurt, cream, milk, sugar and Jamaica water until it reaches the boiling point. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 10 min. or until it reduces a little. Add gelatin (previously dissolved in a little water) and remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into individual molds. Refrigerate at least an hour.
For the Strawberry Coulis: Put strawberries in blender with the sugar and begin blending. Once together add water until you reach the consistency you like and only if necessary. Put in squeeze bottle and keep in fridge.
Jamaica Reduction: Put Jamaica blossoms, sugar in pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer. Keep an eye on it. After about 1/2 hour, it will begin to thicken. You can also reduce further (45 min) until you get syrup which can be used for cooking, decoration, pancakes, drinks, etc.
Clean flowers and use only petals. Reserve a couple of petals and cut the rest into juliennes (thin strips). To serve: Put Panna Cota and invert on plate, decorate with the coulis making attractive designs on the plate, put a whole petal, juliennes around to finish off. Put a couple of mint leaves on the side too.

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