Manuka Honey and Star Anise Panna Cotta
Manuka Honey works superbly as a base flavour for a creamy and luxurious panna cotta. It's a natural sweetener so no additional sugar is needed.
To make 4:
125ml whole milk
375ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
2 x 2g sheets gelatine
2 points of a star anise
70g Manuka honey
Add the milk, 180ml of the double cream and two points of a star anise to a small saucepan.
Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
Add the seeds to the saucepan, bring the liquids to the boil, then turn off the heat to let the spices infuse for 10 minutes.
Leave two sheets of gelatine to soak in a bowl of water for 4 minutes.
Reheat the cream for 30 seconds or so, but don't allow it to boil again.
Take the gelatine sheets from the bowl and squeeze out any excess water, then add them to the warm cream mix, along with the manuka honey.
Stir the mixture until the new additions have completely dissolved.
Strain the cream, manuka honey, vanilla and gelatine mix through a sieve.
Then allow this to cool for 10-15 minutes until it thickens and clings to the back of a wooden spoon.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining double cream to "ribbon" stage – just before it starts to peak – taking care not to over whip.
Fold the gelatine-thickened cream mix into the whipped cream, then decant into a jug.
Pour the mix into dariole moulds or ramekins that hold 150ml of water.
Leave a gap of around 5mm at the top of each pot.
Chill them for a couple of hours or more.
You could make these the morning before a dinner party, or even the night before.
Remove the panna cottas from the fridge five minutes before serving so they become loose enough to slip freely from their moulds.
If you are having difficulties, you may need to dip the moulds briefly in hot water to encourage them to loosen.
Serve with seasonal fruit.