Follow a rich lunch with this light, tangy dessert and tasty wafers
Now that I have settled into the rhythm of 2019, I’m looking to the weekends for some gentle entertainment to get me through these winter months.A long, leisurely lunch often does the trick. If the weather is cold, we will have a comforting main course, followed by something like these light panna cottas, with the acidic tang of yoghurt alongside some insanely good toasted coconut and oat wafers.
Vanilla yoghurt panna cotta with oat biscuits
Prep 15 min
Chill 3 hr
Cook 20 min
For the panna cotta
2 ½ sheets fine-leaf gelatin (based on 2g sheets)
450ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split
1 star anise
Zest of 1 orange
100g caster sugar
200g Greek yoghurt
100ml whole milk
For the wafer biscuits
150g unsweetened coconut flakes
150g butter, melted
150g golden caster sugar
A large pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp muscat or other light pudding wine
1 packet of blueberries
Submerge the gelatin in a bowl of cold water and leave to soften for five to eight minutes. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a deep saucepan with the split vanilla pod, star anise and orange zest, and place over a medium-low heat. Leave to warm gently and infuse for five minutes – don’t let it boil. Stir in the sugar, then take off the heat.
Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and stir into the hot cream until it melts away. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla, then discard the pod. Whisk in the yoghurt and milk, then leave to cool completely. Pour into small moulds, glasses or ramekins, and leave to chill and set in the fridge for at least three hours.
Heat oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. To make the biscuits, blitz the coconut flakes to a crumb in a food processor. Melt the butter and stir it into the rest of the biscuit ingredients, including the coconut crumb. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spread out the coconut mixture into a thin layer, about 2mm-3mm thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then cut out the wafers using a round cutter.
Dip the panna cotta moulds in boiling water and loosen the sides with a palette knife. Turn them out on to plates, drizzle over a little muscat, and serve with a few blueberries and the wafer biscuits on the side.
And for the rest of the week
The biscuits make a delicious, granola-like breakfast crumble. Smash the offcuts from the rounds to a crumb with a rolling pin, then sprinkle on to yoghurt with poached fruit. Rinse the vanilla pod and add to a bottle of vodka with other pods you have used to make your own vanilla extract.