Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis (and intolerance)

Panacotta and Rasberry Coulis (10 of 11)

I have my moments. Normally, I am a pretty forgiving kind of guy. But, there are the days when the blood sugars are low and the sleep quota is less than it should be. My normal placid aura becomes a dangerous, seething cauldron of raw intolerance. Old ladies, who on another day might well be helped across the road run the risk of having the walking sticks kicked from their arthritic grasp. That casually dropped cigarette butt gets dropped back in the window of the offenders car. And, God help the errant dog-walker who does not clear up after their pooch. Yes, I have days when I can be totally hard-assed.

But, enough about me. Think of both my darling daughters. They are intolerant EVERY day. Though they tend not to throw stones at cats. Nor do they pick on those less fortunate than themselves, unless they happen to encounter a red-haired “ginge”. But for this tale, that is of no consequence. No, both daughters suffer from a lactose intolerance. This means that they can’t eat or drink anything with a lactose content. So, I attempted to create the Italian classic of Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis using lactose free cream and milk, I had some trepidation.

Pana Cotta and Rasberry Coulis

The ingredients. No lactose allowed. We will not tolerate it.

My nervousness was misplaced. For once, every step in the preparation of this lovely desert went perfectly smoothly. My recent Creme Brûlée attempt was pretty good too. Perhaps I have a talent for lactose free desserts? Before I lose the run of myself here’s what you will need (lactose free or not);

  • 750 ml of single cream (Or cream as we used to call it before whipping cream, pre-whipped cream, double cream, low-fat cream, lactose free cream, added calcium cream, Vitamin B cream etc, etc. ad nauseum.)
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 6 sheets of gelatine
  • 140 grammes of caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 400 grammes of fresh raspberries
  • seven ramekin dishes, lightly oiled

My instructions are very simple. Add the milk and the cream to a saucepan.

Cream pouring

I could not resist a pouring shot of the cream.

Add the seeds from the vanilla pod.

The big pot of cream and milk.Don't think of your arteries while you are doing this.

The big pot of cream and milk. Don’t think of your arteries while you are doing this.

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water while the cream mixture comes near to boiling point.

Gelatine sheets

Gelatine sheets feel pretty gruesome and slimy. Strange indeed.

Squeeze the water from the gelatine sheets before stirring them into the cream. Turn the heat off and stir. Place the saucepan into a water bath with ice, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

I managed to fill seven ramekins with this amount of mixture.

I managed to fill seven ramekins with this amount of mixture.

Let them cool and then place them in the fridge for a couple of hours. While the panna cotta are setting, add the raspberries and remaining sugar to another saucepan.

My second and final pouring shot of this post.

My second but not the final pouring shot of this post.

Add a little water and bring the mixture to a boil. The raspberries will start to break down.

I like this shot. I hope you do too.

I like this shot. I hope you do too.

When the fruit has broken down, pass the contents of the saucepan through a sieve. This will give you some delicious raspberry coulis. Let this cool down. It benefits from spending some time in the fridge too.

Panacotta and Raspberry Coulis

Putting the knife in. A sign of intolerance, perhaps?

The panna cotta should have a very wobbly consistency. Place it briefly into a bowl of warm water and run a knife around the edge. Add a few strawberries and pour over the  sauce.

Pana cotta and Raspberry Coulis

Third and final pouring shot. You have to love the colours.

One last shot perhaps….

Resistance is futile. This dessert is incredible. No matter how intolerant you are.

Resistance is futile. This dessert is incredible. No matter how intolerant you are.

In summary, the intolerant more than tolerated this delicious Italian classic dessert. Absolutely awesome stuff. Do try it.

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Latest comments
  • Looks very tasty

    • Thank you. It was pretty fine, if I say so myself.

  • Effing love a good panna cotta.

  • Nice recipe and -too- attractive photos. Mmmmm, delicious.

    • Thank you. We enjoyed it. The raspberries make for some lovely colour.

  • Looks great! I must admit, I do like a bit of panna cotta. Has got to be the strangest intro I’ve read on a recipe for panna cotta, damn funny though!

    • Thanks, and thanks for tolerating my sense of humour.

  • Well isn’t this something? I never would have thought lactose-free ingredients would “work” and wonder what other lactose-filled desserts can be given similar treatment and still produce a satisfying treat? Obviously I’ve no experience using lactose-free products. How special that you were able to make this for your daughters.

    • Thanks John, if I don’t include them in my occasional forays into desserts, I do pay a price.
      The lactose free milk and cream worked just fine. I too was impressed.

  • Delicious in spite of the intolerance 😉

  • I think I could tolerate this recipe. In fact, it looks divine.

    • Thanks Adam. Serve it on a blue plate and it will do for Independence Day.

  • Conor, have you tried the Irish version?

    • I love it. Great to see local endeavour making a difference.

  • Delish! Makes me think of Seinfeld who said that he was lactose ‘intolerant’ and just wouldn’t stand for it 🙂

  • Littering smokers and lazy pooch owners drive me nuts too. We have people come up and thank us for picking up after our dogs, that’s how bad it is here. This dessert looks delicious.

    • Thanks. We put a lot of effort into getting lots of extra fruit bags (for dog walking)when we are shopping.

  • I think I may love pannacotta even more than I love creme caramel. Love the shots!

  • I’m so glad this worked out. It looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Thanks Julie, I didn’t feel like sharing when it was done.

  • Love this, Conor! I’ve been cooking Italian food for 15 years, and have never made panna cotta. Perhaps it’s time to change that. Love the ‘inverse’ pouring shot 🙂 PS Amazing how you turn 400 grams of strawberries into raspberries 😉

    • Darnation! By the time anybody else reads this post, they will not know what you are talking about, unless they read this reply, that is.

  • Let’s see, reading between the lines… you’d steal the cane from the old lady, poke the cigarette tosser in the eye through the crack in the car window, and give the dog walker a thrashing. Sounds about right. The panna cotta looks great–and great photos too. (Nice pour on the milk. :-)) I don’t think I’ve ever seen lactose free milk here, and I shop in the kinds of places where you’d think they’d have it. I wonder if it’s an English/European thing. Ken

    • Thanks Ken. As you can tell from the cane kicking etc, we are far more sophisticated on this side of the pond. For clarity, Irish (married to English btw).

  • Looks tasty as always. Beautiful colors – the raspberries especially. 🙂

    • Thanks. They area perfect match for it. They will be getting another outing when I do Peach Melba. That is a while off judging by the bullet-like peaches in the shops at present.

  • Mighty sexy Panna Cotta 🙂
    Step by step photo-instruction makes your posts special, comfortable and truly useful.
    (You have a die-hard fan here, Boss-man) 🙂

    • Thanks Nusrat, you are always so kind in your comments.

  • Easy- peasy: thanks to Stefan we now know we can luxuriate in both strawberries and raspberries 😉 !

    • I hate getting caught out. Particularly when it’s on the dopey stuff!

      • But we love you all the more for it 🙂 !

  • A perfect antidote to the meat-centric diet I’ve been focused on over the past few weeks (its the new diet BTW, Atkins inspired)

  • Thank you for making this beautiful dessert. I am also one of those intolerant one’s and it is nice to have a great recipe that I can try out. Sometimes I feel deprived living here in HK as they do not have all of the items I need. I have not seen lactose free cream anywhere here but will keep my eyes open. Take Care, BAM

  • I just LOVE panna cotta and yours Connor looks divine! Wish I had a bowl right NOW as I sit in bed reading this post…

    • Pana Cotta in bed. Now, there’s a concept!

  • Being a very tolerant sort, I’ll go for the lactose. 🙂 But, it’s nice to know that it works either way. Nice dad.

    • Thanks Michelle, I have my good moments. Occasional moments but moments all the same.

  • I was a bit skeptical about the lactose-free nature of this panna cotta, but I guess that’s also a very intolerant of me. But you’ve swayed me, as always. Looks creamy & delicious.

    • Thanks Tommy, my lactards report that they suspect that it may not be entirely lactose free as they suffered mild headache after. The jury is now out, having been in before.

  • Beautiful photography for one of my favorite desserts!!

    • Thanks Maya. It is so, so good when fresh. Just so good a day later.

  • Looks amazing! One thing I like to do when I make a raspberry sauce like this one is to add some Merlot. Particularly one full of raspberry in the nose and mouth… I will try this one!

    • Great idea Barb. I must try that.

      • It is yummy and the reduction will last for 2 weeks, if you can keep it around that long!

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