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Water. Air. Food. Sex. The essentials in life. The first two? Leave them in their natural state and they'll look after you just fine.. The later two? Fun to play with. Get a little creative with. And if the mood strikes you, mix the two... Food and sex have been linked throughout history. Think about it. I mean really think about it. Is there anything more sexy than good food? Chances are others think the same thing. These recipes are not just about seducing that special someone (or someones) but seducing yourself. Its easy to forget what a pleasure food can be. So take a knife, some nice ingredients, and get Seductive in the Kitchen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Virgin Vanilla Panna Cotta's

The flavors of this simple little dessert paint a very vivid picture indeed.
The innocent richness of cream.
The raunchy red boldness of the fresh raspberries studded within.
A lingering hint of summery citrus and then the vanilla. It tantalises the tastebuds, speaking of secrets and foriegn places. Complex. Subtle. Lingering.
Who could possible resist the trembling texture of a perfectly set Panna Cotta? A chef i used to work with said a perfect panna cotta should have a wobble like "a fat lass's ass" and though a little crude this explains it to a T. Too often panna cotta's are more like cheesecakes - set to within an inch of their life.
When realeased from their moulds they shall 'bulge' a little and you want to be just a little afraid that they wont set..
But they will! And when you dip your spoon into this trembling creamy little baby you will truly have a small taste of heaven on your lips...
As their are only a few ingredients make sure you spend a little extra money and buy the good stuff. Fresh raspberries. Local Cream. and please please please some sexy, sticky A Grade vanilla beans. Trust me, you will taste the difference.... Real Vanilla, if you are lucky enough to have had it is an oral orgasm. Of the food variety.
Whenever a recipe calls for very few ingredients it is wise to splurge a little on the quality of the ingredients.
Fresh Raspberries. Beautiful cream. Some le
af (rather than powdered) gelatin. And please, please, please, do yourself a favor and hunt down the best Vanilla Beans you can buy. Sticky black and filled with seeds, the aroma so heady you can smell it through the packaging.
Trust me, its worth it.

Please read through the entire recipe before beggining

*600 ml thick cream
*150 ml milk
*120 gm castor (superfine) sugar
*Zest of half a mandarin
*3 leaves gelatin, soaked in icy water
*Half a vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthways, the seeds scraped out and kept
*1 punnet of fresh raspberries ( you should have a few left to serve with)

Let me assure you this is quick to make. Luckily for us, in this particular circumstance, quick is good. It requires little to no effort with maximum pleasure - what's not to like?

*Soak the leaf gelatin in ice water (the ice stops it from dissolving) for about 5 min. While your waiting place the cream, milk, sugar and the finely grated zest in a pot. Add the scraped vanilla bean, seeds, pods and all and pop it on the stove. Bring it up to just simmering then remove it from the heat and set aside. Keep a close eye and do not let it boil.

Squeeze the liquid from the gelatin and add it to the cream mix, stirring till dissolved. Let it sit for twenty minutes to infuse.
While you are waiting take your moulds (preferably the plastic ones designed for creme caramel's- they are cheap and easy to come by at your local store) and spray them with oil or brush them lightly with melted butter.

Put 2-3 fresh raspberries in each mould and then go find some thing to occupy yourself till the cream is infused. Im sure you'll think of something.
After 20 min remove the vanilla pods but DO NOT strain it as you will lose all the sexy little seeds that give it its flavor. Pour the mix into the moulds and set in the fridge.

It is really that easy. So now you have plenty of time, and energy, to use for whatever you may like... until these beautiful little babies are are ready.

Warning; staring at the fridge and
salivating is not becoming. Try to avoid unless alone.

If You Want To Make it Extra Sexy;

Vanilla Syrup to serve

1/2 vanilla bean, as above
500 gm sugar
500 ml water

Place all in a pot and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 10-15 mins untill sticky and infused. Store in a glass bottle with the pods and all till ready for serving. Does not need to be refrigerated.

Notes And Helpful Tips

If you can't find any Creme caramel moulds you can instead set it in a funky glass - though it won't wobble on the plate it will still look great
To remove from the mould run a small sharp knife between the panna cotta and the mould, taking care not to stab the panna cotta. Then create a small gap between the mould and panna with your knife to break the seal and slip it onto the plate.
Can be stored the fridge for 2-3 days but make sure you cover them with glad wrap or they will dry out.
Keep the pods you remove from the cream, dry it off and store it in your sugar for a lovely scent and subtle flavor
Toss the extra raspberries in some vanilla syrup (above) and serve alongside
Make tiny little ones in a baby muffin tin for an exciting option at tea party

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