Mr Meko and I celebrated 10 years together this week (since we met, not in marriage....yes we still remember our first date!), and last night thought it would be fitting to crack a special bottle of wine and have a gourmet homemade meal to celebrate the occasion. With the list of 'Sweet Treat Crazes of 2013' still front of mind for me and still continuing on the blog week by week (we only have two more to feature after this!) I thought it was time we tackled the flavour honey. Now I was surprised to see this flavour on the Sweet Treat Craze list as it's a pretty standard flavour in desserts, along with the likes of caramel which also featured on the list. Honey doesn't really strike me as a craze that we need to be on to, but rather know how to pair it up with other flavours that will make it shine. So rather than creating for you a honey cake or honey cookies, Mr Meko thought it was time to showcase a dessert (of which he is most well known for). So we present to you our Honey Panna Cottas with Caramel Popcorn and Caramel Sauce. We actually made some lovely 'picnic style' panna cottas last week when visiting a friend in hospital, which is probably why the idea was so front of mind. But I nearly fell off the couch when I tried these ones last night.......the mix of the honey and caramel against the delicate panna cotta with the crunch of the popcorn was just to die for. And if you watch your Master Chef as we do, you know that texture is the key to a good dessert. So please try this one, it's a really easy dessert to try at your next dinner party that will no doubt impress your guests.
Honey Panna Cottas with Caramel Popcorn and Caramel Sauce
(makes between 6-10 depending on mould size)
11g gelatine leaves
1/4 cup popping corn and vegetable oil for popping
275g brown sugar
Soak your gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until soft.
Meanwhile in a saucepan, heat the milk, cream and honey over a high heat until just boiling. Remove off the heat.
Transfer the cream mixture from the saucepan to a bowl and place in the freezer to cool for approx 30 mins, stirring every 10 mins to avoid freezing. If the mix starts to freeze, whisk back until it is runny.
Lightly spray some dariole moulds (individual plastic moulds) with oil spray.
Once cooled, remove your mix from the freezer and fill your moulds to just below the top of each one. Transfer your moulds to the fridge to set for at least an hour. NB. If your mix is too warm when you transfer to the moulds it will cause them to split. If this occurs, return to the saucepan and reheat before transferring back to the freezer to cool.
To make your caramel sauce, heat your cream and brown sugar together in a saucepan over a high heat until boiled. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until all combined. Set aside.
Make your popcorn as per the packet instructions. Then in a bowl pour some of your hot caramel sauce over your popcorn and stir until coated. Spread onto a tray lined with baking paper and set aside to set and cool. Once cool, break into pieces and set aside for later.
Once your panna cottas are set, prepare your plate. Using a dessert spoon, place a spoonful of the cooled caramel sauce on the plate and smear using the back of the spoon, dragging it through the sauce into an arc shape. NB Ensure your caramel sauce is not to hot to avoid melting your panna cotta when plated.
Loosen your panna cotta from its mould by creating air pockets around the side of the mould by gently pulling the panna cotta away from the edge of the mould and squeezing the mould gently to loosen it. Place the mould on the plate and gently remove to reveal the panna cotta.
Decorate with your caramel popcorn and serve.