Blair and I had a rare outing (with grandparents/babysitters in town) and snuck to Woodpecker Hill last Saturday. Among lots of delicious morsels we had amazing black rice pudding with lychees. I hadn’t had them in years and often relegated them to cocktails. These were lush and fragrant, sweet but not too sweet with the odd hint of tartness – I had to make my own Asian-inspired sweet treat right away. I thought this panna cotta would end the Korean chicken burgers sublimely.
This simple yet impressive panna cotta can be made up to 4 days ahead so less stress on the day!
1 cup whole milk, divided
2 tsp gelatine
2 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
Peel from 1 lemon
1 thumb ginger, grated
Unflavoured oil for ramekins
2 shortbread biscuits, crushed(either homemade or bought – I cheated and bought mine!)
1 cup tinned lychees, drained and cut or torn
Pour 1/2 cup milk into a bowl and sprinkle gelatine over. Let sit until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine cream, sugar, lemon peel, ginger and remaining 1/2 cup milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
Bring cream mixture back to a simmer. Add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Strain. Divide among eight 3/4-cup ramekins, brushed with oil (to avoid sticking). Chill uncovered until panna cotta is set, at least 6 hours. This can be made up to 4 days ahead.
Using a small sharp knife, cut around edges of each panna cotta. Place a small serving plate atop each ramekin and invert. Serve with crushed shortbread and tinned lychees arranged on top.