Panna Cotta with Thyme, Lemon and Blueberries

This is one of the easiest recipe for creamy panna cotta, infused with thyme and lemon, and served with berry sauce.

Panna Cotta with Thyme, lemon and blueberries

PANNA COTTA WITH THYME, LEMON AND BLUEBERRY SAUCE

(Based on Simon Rimmer’s recipe)

For panna cotta:

3 gelatine leaves

250 ml milk

250 ml double cream

1/4 cup sugar

about 3-4 sprigs of thyme

1/2 lemon zest

For blueberry sauce:

1 cup blueberries

1/4 sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

water, if needed to thin out the sauce

Method:

  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water, set aside until soft.
  2. Place the milk, cream, sugar lemon zest and fresh thyme into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the thyme springs and discard.

  3. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

  4. Divide the mixture among four ramekins and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least an hour, until set.

  5. To make the sauce place the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries are hot and popped. Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Add water, if needed, to achieve the proper consistency. Allow to cool completely before topping the panna cotta.
  6. To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with more fresh blueberries.
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Blueberry, Hazelnut & Ricotta Cake

This recipe is taken from my new favourite book ‘Honey & Co: The Baking Book’ which is written by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, two Israelis who have set up shop in London serving the food of their native country. This book is full of authentic recipes which are easy to reproduce. I was sold immediately by the amount of unusual (for me) flavour combinations, not spoiled by complicated techniques or expensive ingredients.

This cake falls into this category too. Blueberry & Hazenuts – who would’ve thought that it goes well together. And, of course, I’m a big believer in Ricotta, which keeps the cake extremely moist while hazelnuts bring flavour and texture, and it works very well with blueberries.

Blueberry, Hazelnuts & Ricotta Cake

BLUEBERRY, HAZELNUT & RICOTTA CAKE

Ingredients:

115g unsalted butter

125g sugar

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

zest of 1 lemon

175g ground hazelnuts

250g ricotta cheese

1 x 150g punnet blueberries

75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the bottom of the 23cm cake tin, line with baking parchment and butter the sides.

2. Cream the butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Add the salt, lemon zest and ground hazelnuts, mix until fully incorporated. Fold the ricotta and half the blueberries into the batter and scoop into the prepared tin. Top with the remaining blueberries and the roughly chopped hazelnuts, sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

3. Bake for about 55-65 minutes or until the cake has set. Allow to cool in the tin. Once cooled, place in the fridge to help it set so that you can transfer it to a serving plate.

4. The cake keeps well in the fridge up to 3-4 days, but it is best to bring it up to the room temperature before serving so you can enjoy all the flavours in full.

Blueberry, Hazelnuts & Ricotta Cake

Mighty Granola

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I don’t really like any type of breakfast cereals, maybe because I didn’t grow up with it, we never even heard of cereal when I was young, this came to our country only recently. I never heard of granola either until I moved to the UK. But I always liked oats hence I decided to try granola for breakfast one day. I tried it and I did fall in love with it instantly. I believe it came from US originally but it strongly grows in popularity all over.

I’ve tried all sorts of variations and for a long time my favourite was always plain granola topped with almonds , dried apricots  and figs. But recently I saw a recipe by Jack Monroe and had one of those moments when you think, “Why I didn’t think of that myself?’ The recipe is so simple and straightforward with only one twist in it – peanut butter (taking in account you like peanut butter, of course). However, variations are endless. She (Jack) recommends just with strawberry jam on top or banana – classic combinations! My recent addiction is just with lightly sweetened soya milk and fresh blueberries. Anything goes really when you have a good base.

I only twigged the quantity of oats because Jack’s recipe is super budget friendly and I wanted my granola to be a little bit richer and coated more with peanut butter flavour.

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PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA

Ingredients:

25g butter

4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

4 tablespoons honey

200g rolled porridge oats

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. In a heavy saucepan/ovenproof dish on a low heat melt the butter, peanut butter and honey until incorporated.

3. Add the oats and mix together well until all oats are well coated.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once half way through, until it becomes a golden brown but avoid it burning.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring into airtight container, where you can keep it  for a few weeks. (In our house it doesn’t last longer than a few days 🙂

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