Butterscotch panna cotta with boiled pears

Panna cotta, Italian for cooked cream, is exactly the type of dessert you’ll want in your arsenal: It looks great, but with gelatin, it’s easier to make than custard. This was provided by Bad Hunter in Chicago, which has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The dessert is flavored with butter and studded with toffee and sourdough breadcrumbs. The result is rich but not too sweet with plenty of warm naivety to warm up a winter’s night.

Ingredients for pannacotta butterscotch

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • olive oil
  • 2 ² / cup heavy cream
  • Half a cup of brown sugar
  • ² / cup fresh cream; 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder
  • Boiled pears with thyme (the next recipe)
Butterscotch Panacotta Trends

To make toffee pieces, heat a paper tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. In a bowl, melt half a cup of butter. Add the corn syrup, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 5 teaspoons water. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture registers 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Pour into a prepared tray and leave to harden at room temperature. Once cool, cut into small pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

To prepare the sourdough crumbs, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the crust from the bread and discard it. Cut the bread into coarse 1-inch pieces. Stir in olive oil until evenly coated but not saturated. Season with salt to taste. Distribute on a tray lined with paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature, then blend in a food processor to form coarse crumbs.

To make panna cotta, heat the pot over medium heat. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup of the sugar to the hot saucepan until the sugar caramelizes to a deep amber. Immediately add 2/3 cup heavy cream. Re-cook over low heat, whisking to combine. Whisking constantly, add the remaining heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 12 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus brown sugar, fresh cream and gelatin as the last ingredient. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool to room temperature. Divide evenly among 8 shallow dishes. Put it in the fridge until it hardens. Top with toffee pieces, sourdough crumbs, and poached pears with thyme and fresh cream or whipped cream, if desired. Serves 8.

Fresh cream

Add the vanilla bean paste to the fresh cream as desired. Whisk until you reach soft peaks.

Ingredients of thyme and boiled pear

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • Half a cup of lemon juice
  • 5-6 lemon peels
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 9-10 sticks of thyme
  • 3-4 small Bosc pears
Directions of boiled pear with thyme

Combine all ingredients except pears with 3 cups of water in saucepan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally, to dissolve sugar.

Meanwhile, peel the pear.

Once the blanching liquid boils, gently drop the pears. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until pears are fully cooked – they should be pierced easily with a small knife, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a perforated spoon, remove the pears from the liquid and place in the refrigerator until cool. Cut it in half and use a watermelon spoon to remove the seeds and cut them into slices.

Wine pairing: fortified wine

Fortified wines are a large and varied category that includes any wine with added spirits. Many are dry, but when paired with caramel or toffee candy, you’ll want sweet Madeira, white or tan port, amontillado or oloroso sherry. All of these elements have oxidizing qualities that can contribute to notes of nut, tobacco, coffee, and/or caramel. Rebecca Schliff, former Wine Manager at Bad Hunter, Cossart Gordon NV 5 Year Old Bual Medium Rich Madeira recommends this recipe.

“Madeira is slightly lighter and less sweet than butterscotch panna cotta, but it still holds up to its richness,” says Schleif. “The fermentation can be a little on the palate if both the dessert wine and the dessert wine are equally sweet. The flavors of caramel and coffee in Madeira complement the dessert in panna cotta.”

Posted on December 12, 2020

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