Looks like day and night I’m Plumming, Lol!! Yes, I’m thinking only of Plums these days. This would be my fifth consecutive post on Plums and this one’s a combination of two desserts with a chocolate jalebi/nest made in an interesting way. I admitted in my previous post of Five Spice Flavoured Cottage Cheese Balls Stuffed With Plums & Chinese Plum Sauce, that I’m getting inclined towards making a dessert, but I never knew that my craving would land me making two desserts.
I watch Master Chef Australia religiously like an eager student. I will sit with a paper and pen and any new term, technique or even food presentation idea, I will note that immediately. I learn a lot from that show. In one of the earlier episodes in this season, I saw Laura making Chocolate Noodles in the ice water and the idea got stuck in my head and I was looking towards an opportunity to make them and use in my experimental cooking. Similarly, in one of the immunity challenges, the contestants were asked to use chillies in cooking. After experimenting with the Plums and Peri Peri Chillies Salsa, I knew that the fruit and chillies go well but that preparation was salty, spicy and now with the dessert in my mind, I wanted the chillies to shine in the dessert. I know chocolate and chillies go well, so I had the trio to use; the plums, the chillies and the chocolate.
The desserts shown in Master Chef are of gourmet quality. They are always a source of inspiration. It’s a learning experience to watch them use two or more desserts and come up with something new which is spectacular to look at. After watching the series for so many years, I’ve been aspiring to make a dessert of that kind too.
I had picked up Vanilla beans at Munnar and I have been planning to use them in my desserts, since then. So when I thought of making a fusion dessert combining two or more simple desserts, the first thought that came to my mind was to make a Vanilla Panna Cotta. I have posted a Strawberry and Mango Panna Cotta earlier and I love the simplicity of the dessert. And then I had to use the trio of chillies, chocolate and plums. So, I decided to make a Plums and Chilli Sorbet served on chocolate web placed on the bed of Vanilla Panna Cotta. In my previous posts on Panna Cotta I have used both cream and buttermilk but in this version I have used milk and cream.
I sailed easily through making the panna cotta, the sorbet and the chocolate webs and each of them tasted well individually and also when assembled together. It is a dessert I will try again. The light chilli in the sorbet played well with the chocolate and vanilla, but clicking pictures in high humidity was definitely too ambitious on my part. The first two clicks were sort of okay but soon the sorbet started melting and with the liquid touching it, the panna cotta started breaking. I clicked the remaining pictures in such a hurry. This was the fastest me today.
Method : How to make Chocolate Nest/web/jalebi on water
This trick I had picked up while watching the Master Chef Australia. Melt chocolate on a double boiler (I used dark chocolate about 100gms) and transfer it into a disposable piping bag.
Take a bowl of water and put lots of ice in it to make it freezing cold. Cut the tip of the piping bag and pipe chocolate jalebis on the top of water. The chocolate comes in contact with freezing water and sets instantly. Remove the chocolate garnish gently on a plate and repeat the process. Refrigerate the garnishes till required.
Preparation Time For Panna Cotta:5mins | Cooking Time:5-7mins | Chilling TimE: 4hrs |Makes:5-6 Serves | Difficulty Level: Easy
Preparation Time For Sorbet:5-6mins | Resting Time:1 hour | Freezing Time: 3-4hrs| Makes: 2cups | Difficulty Level: Easy
Ingredients For Sorbet
7plums, seeded and chopped
1-2green chillies, slit, seeded and chopped
1/2cup-2tbsp sugar (as per taste)
1tbsp Vodka (optional)
a pinch of salt
Mix plums, chillies and sugar and keep aside for an hour till the fruits release water and the sugar gets dissolved. Grind the mix and then pass through a sieve to get a smooth mix.
Put it in an ice cream maker and churn till it form a soft freeze. Remove and put in freezer for an hour. If one doesn’t have an ice cream maker, put the mix in a plastic container and mix every hour, till it sets.
Addition of Vodka is optional but that prevents ice formation. I did not add any lemon juice to the sorbet as the plums were sour but in case of sweet plums add a little lemon juice to it.
Ingredients For Vanilla Panna Cotta
1-1/2cups creams ( I used low fat)
3tsp gelatin powder
Mix milk and cream in a pan.
Slit the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds. Put the seeds and the pod in the milk and put it for boil. Add the sugar once the milk cream mix is hot. Keep stirring to prevent scathing.
Once the cream boils, switch off the flame and keep the pan aside to cool.
Take the gelatin a bowl and pour the water to bloom it. Keep aside for 5mins.
On a double boiler, melt the gelatin.
Remove the pod from the cooked cream and strain it once. Also pass the gelatin through the strainer into the cooked cream. Mix it properly.
Grease six ramekins with a cooking spray and wipe off the extra grease using a tissue paper.
Pour the cooked cream into the moulds and refrigerate them for 3-4hrs or till set. The Panna Cotta feels wobbly on touch.
Using a thin sharp knife run through the top edge gently to loosen the edges.
Dampen a plate with a wet towel and invert the ramekin over it. Damp plate enables to move the Panna Cotta if it is not inverted at the right place.
Assembing The Dessert Trio
Invert the Panna Cotta on the dessert plate.Gently place the chocolate webs over it. Quenelle the sorbet and place the sorbet gently over the chocolate. Serve immediately.