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.
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.
Add the seeds from the vanilla pod.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water while the cream mixture comes near to boiling point.
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.
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.
Add a little water and bring the mixture to a boil. The raspberries will start to break down.
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.
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.
One last shot perhaps….
In summary, the intolerant more than tolerated this delicious Italian classic dessert. Absolutely awesome stuff. Do try it.