This simple dessert which means ‘cooked cream’ in Italian is luxurious, sweet and creamy with just the right amount of tartness coming from the mangos. Be sure to invest in some ripe, juicy mangos – it will make all the difference. This recipe relies on gelatin to set the cream. I recommend gelatin sheets but the powder form will work too. Of course, if you are vegetarian you can substitute the gelatin with agar agar, just remember it is much more powerful so adjust the quantities as necessary.
Makes about five 100ml servings
For the mango layer
-2 large ripe mangos
-3 tbsp granulated sugar
-2 gelatin sheets (1 sachet powder)
For the panna cotta:
-370ml double cream
-100ml full-fat milk
-0g granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-5 gelatin sheets (2 sachets powder)
First of all, you need to soften the two gelatin sheets for 5-10mins in cold water or according to the packet instructions (likewise for powdered gelatin). Meanwhile, prepare the mango puree by peeling and dicing the mangos and putting them into a food processor. Add the sugar and blend until smooth. Pour this into a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Have a taste at this point: if your mangos weren’t quite ripe or if you just have a sweet tooth you can always add a little more sugar now. Drain the gelatin sheets using a strainer and gently squeeze them in your hand to remove excess water. Add the sheets (or your bloomed gelatin powder) to the pan and stir gently to dissolve. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before pouring into your serving pots. A nice trick for an eye-catching design is to fix the serving glasses at a slant in a muffin tin or on top of another glass and then pour the mango along one side so you get a half and half effect as pictured. Pop them into the fridge for 2 hours to set.
Once set, you can prepare the panna cotta layer in a similar fashion. Repeat the same steps as before to soften the gelatin sheets. Meanwhile, heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or so until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and add the drained gelatin as before. Allow to cool to room temperature then pour on top of the mango layer to fill your serving glasses. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of two hours or overnight. It can be made a day in advance and then served with some fresh berries, some extra mango or just as it is!