This recipe for a coffee pannacotta serves as an excellent finish to a summer dinner party. The strong espresso flavour works really well with the soft milky texture of the pannacotta and the coffee caramel brings a sweet crunch to the affair.
This recipe and many more features in ‘The Italian Cookery Course’ my encyclopaedia of authentic Italian seasonal cookery which can be purchased here.
Pannacotta al caffè
Serves 4 if using 120ml dariole moulds
21⁄2 gelatine leaves, or 7g powdered gelatine
200ml espresso coffee
300ml double cream
80g caster sugar
Soak the sheets of gelatine in cold water, or follow the packet instructions for softening the powdered gelatine.
Combine the coffee and cream in a bowl, then pour about a quarter of this liquid into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir in the sugar and, once it has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat.
Squeeze out the gelatine sheets and add them to the pan, or add the powdered gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved, returning the saucepan to the heat if necessary.
Strain this warmed liquid through a sieve (to remove any undissolved gelatine) into the remaining coffee and cream in the bowl. Stir to combine.
Cool the pannacotta, then divide it between moulds or glasses.
Caramello al caffè
This is also ideal for pouring over ice cream.
Put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Caramelise until the sugar bubbles and takes on a rich golden colour. (Be careful: the hot caramel can spit at you so it is a good idea to wear oven gloves.) Stir in the espresso when the caramel is bubbling. Leave to cool.