PANNA-MA!... Cotta... with Goat Cheese... scream sang à la Van Halen

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Am I the only one who involuntarily starts singing Panama by Van Halen every time I see panna cotta on a menu? Well, even if I am, it remains a stinking delicious treat with or without the tune.

This is my take on the classic Italian dessert. By adding buttermilk and goat cheese to the mix, it makes for a tangy sweet delight that is oh-so perfect topped with a dollop of lemon curd, whipped cream, or your favourite jam!


Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

Serves 8

1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
¾ vanilla bean, scraped and pod reserved
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatin powder
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup buttermilk

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, vanilla bean pulp and the pod to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the crumbled goat cheese until melted. Remove the mixture from the heat.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it stand for about 1 minute to soften and bloom. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds or until melted and add to the cream and goat cheese mixture. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes then whisk in the buttermilk.

Pour the panna cotta mixture into 8 serving glasses or ramekins and cool to room temperature. Place the panna cottas in the fridge for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Serve the set panna cottas topped with your favourite jam, some lemon curd, fresh fruit, or a big spoonful of Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam.

It's Jammer Thyme: Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Who doesn't love jam? It's pretty much the perfect sweet saucy thing for everything from smearing on toast to dolloping over heaping bowls of ice cream. 

But, like, let's be honest here. Have you ever actually made your own jam? I don't know about you but classic jam making just doesn't fit in the square footage of my teeny little kitchen and picking up a jar from the farmers market or grocery store just seems 18,000x simpler.

That is, until now! 

Meet freezer jam, you're new favourite Springy/Summery thing to make. It's filled with fresh fruit flavours, stores beautifully in the fridge and freezer, and is a cinch to make!

This strawberry thyme freezer jam is the perfect recipe to use up all of those beautiful berries that are just about to pop up at markets and that little hint of thyme, lemon, and vanilla is a freaking dream!


Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Makes three 250ml jars

4 cups trimmed and sliced strawberries
¾ cup sugar
½ lemon, zested and juiced
1–1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ vanilla bean, split and scraped

In a large pot over set over medium heat, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and thyme leaves. If you are using a vanilla bean, add the scrapings and the pod now but if you’re using vanilla extract, save that to add at the very end.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently with a spoon and mashing the strawberries slightly. I like to use a potato masher for this. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes or so or until jammy.

Remove the jam from the heat and add in vanilla extract, if using. Allow the jam to cool slightly then divide into your jars. Allow the jam to cool completely then seal with lids and pop one jar into your fridge to chill and two into your freezer for later use.

 

Ice Cream is always the answer

No-Churn Ice Cream (vanilla, strawberry, and a mishmash of the two)

No-Churn Ice Cream (vanilla, strawberry, and a mishmash of the two)

No-churn ice cream should be in everyone’s summer recipe repertoire.  It has only four ingredients and literally takes about 5 minutes to put together.

Pair it with some homemade magic chocolate shell and you’ve got one heck of a treat.

Rather than blather on about its wonders, I’ll keep this short and sweet… just like the recipe!


No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

 1 – 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
1 ¾ cups whipping cream

Place a loaf pan in the freezer while you prepare your ice cream base.

In a large bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla extract and fine sea salt and set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks.

Using a whisk, fold about half a cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.  Follow with one more half cup to lightened the condensed milk then, switching to a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Retrieve the chilled loaf pan from the freezer and pour in the ice cream base, levelling the top with the back of your spatula.  Press a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream base and pop it into the freezer for at least 6 hours to firm up.

Enjoy any which way your heart desires though I'd recommend a good drizzle of chocolate shell and a scattering of sprinkles!