Coffee Panna Cotta and an Obsession with Chefs

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of videos of Gordon Ramsay cooking and I have to say he makes everything look fast and simple. But some actually are. It will obviously take a bit longer than his videos to whip something up, as you need to prepare the ingredients he already has within arm’s reach. What really fascinates me is how every day food can seem so mouthwatering and special. Plus the man uses a lot of cheese, which goes straight to my heart heart.

Also I saw a few very interesting videos of a young Marco Pierre White cooking for 4 chefs at one of his restaurants, Harveys. Chefs whose videos I later watched…completely hypnotized for a few hours surprised.  Mr. Marco said something that really stuck with me: “to be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things, well”. So if the recipe requires you to melt chocolate, search a bit on how to melt chocolate. If you need to peal an avocado, again check the best method, if you haven’t done this before. Basic things done well can really make a difference in the outcome of your cooking.

What’s more, you don’t always have to follow the instructions precisely. There are many differences in ingredients across countries. They have different consistency so you might need to use a substitute, which will lead to some slightly different result. Rather trust your instinct and adapt as you go. And don’t forget to taste it from time to time smile.

Coffee Panna Cotta

Take for example the panna cotta I made. The original recipe required for 50ml Espresso or 11 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 50 ml hot water. At my first attempt I added 7 teaspoons of instant coffee and the required amount of sugar, even though I felt that it might be a bit too much coffee or not enough sugar, at least for my taste. So I tried again, but the second time I replaced it with 11 tablespoons of strong black coffee. It came out perfect. By the way, I watched Gordon making panna cotta like 6 times, checking every detail. You can check him out here 😉 (minute 15:03).

And remember that when it comes to cooking, practice makes perfect so don’t give up and try again…your taste buds will be rewarded and you confidence as well :).

Eet smakelijk 🙂 !

Coffee Panna Cotta

Ingredients

15 tablespoons (225 ml) strongly made coffee (I used grounded coffee)
1 and 3/4 cup (400ml) heavycream (liquid whipped cream 30% or higher)
5 tablespoons (75ml) milk (preferably not skim)
3/4 cup (100g) powder sugar (or 4 tablespoons granulated sugar)
1 pack gelatin (See *Note)
500 ml water

Yields 4-5 ramekins/small bowls

Directions

  1. Prepare the coffee.
  2. In the saucepan add the cream, milk and sugar. Place over a medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  3. Add 15 tablespoons of coffee into cream mixture or as per taste.
  4. Prepare gelatin as per pack instructions and add it to the coffee cream mixture. Mix well until dissolved.
  5. Rinse the ramekins or small bowls with cold water, but don’t dry them. This will make the panna cotta easier to turn out once set. Pour the entire mixture in the ramekins or small bowls and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, until it sets. It should have the consistency of a pudding and bouncy when touched.
  6. To serve, dip the ramekins in boiling water for 5 seconds (if unsure if the bowls are heat proof, place them in hot water for 1-2 minutes). Place a plate over each one and, holding tightly, invert both, giving the ramekin a little shake if necessary.

Inspiration: Channel4/Gordon Ramsay 

Note * The instructions on my 50 grams gelatin powder pack said to add powder in 1 l hot water, but based on previous experience, I used 500 ml. After letting is sit for around 10 minutes, I added 14 tablespoons in the coffee cream mixture. It’s not necessary to wait for the gelatin to turn fully into jelly, it will still do the work once refrigerated.

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