raspberry financiers

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

Financiers make me nostalgic for Paris. I miss walking into my local boulangerie first thing in the morning and being hit by the sweetest smell in the world. Freshly baked bread and pastries that would make a diabetic weep. The French take such pride in their pâtisserie. From the identically sliced figs on a massive tart to the expertly glazed raspberry on a macaron. It’s perfection.

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

Financiers are it for me. They’re my Achilles’ heel of the pastry world. Specifically raspberry financiers. The slightly tart and super fresh raspberry is the perfect accompaniment to the buttery,  and indulgently rich ground almond based treat. I know it’s a forbidden word but deal with it… They’re incredibly moist. So don’t over bake them. It would be a crime of pastry passion.

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

Lastly when you get to the recipe and you think i’ve made a typo with the amount of butter… I haven’t. Just deal with it. Butter is life. While at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris I learned it was possible to use several kilograms of butter in one meal. God bless the French. For financiers I like to make my own almond flour. I find freshly grinding the almonds make the little cakes more moist. OMG I said it again. Breathe. If you don’t have a Nutribullet or a little coffee grinder don’t bother- bought will do just fine. Now make these babies and share them with people you really love.

Raspberry Financiers

makes 18

Ingredients:

  • 300g butter plus extra for greasing
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g flour
  • 9 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • pinch sea salt
  • 250g fresh raspberries

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease 3 x 6 mini cupcake trays or similar moulds.

Brown butter in a saucepan and set aside to cool.

Place ground almonds in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the icing sugar and flour. Mix together.

Whisk the egg whites lightly just to combine them, not whip them.

Add them to the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix thoroughly.

Finally add the vanilla, pinch of salt and the cooled butter. Mix well.

Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour before ladling it into the moulds.

Press three raspberries into each mould and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Turn out onto a cooling rack and try resist eating them all at once.

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

Raspberry Financiers | The Secret Life of Bee

 

 

 

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

I recently received the most gorgeous bouquet of kumquats from my neighbour with very sexy ankles. I ate one immediately and it burst with flavour! The kumquat is ever so perfectly sweet and tangy. You can eat these delicious little citrus treats peel and all. The peel tends to be even sweeter than the flesh. Their bright colour and zingy flavour made me think of warm weather, the beach and summery things like ice cream. 

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

The kumquat’s tart and tangy flavour profile also got me thinking about the tub of gooseberries in my fridge. They turned out to be a match made in heaven. Both flavours sang together as they bubbled away into a zesty compote. Making a compote and then stirring it into the vanilla base gives this ice cream a wonderful texture and pockets of sweet and sour.

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

As mentioned in the recipe if you don’t have an ice cream machine do not fret! Pour the vanilla mixture into a ziplock bag and freeze. Remove and break into chunks and whizz in a food processor, blender or with a stick blender if that’s all you have! Most of the time you can get around any fancy equipment required in a recipe with a little bit of a MacGyver attitude.

Kumquat and gooseberry ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range egg yolks

For the compote:

  • 200g kumquats, deseeded, sliced into quarters
  • 200g gooseberries, sliced in half
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml water
  • splash of brandy

Method:

Place kumquats, gooseberries, caster sugar, water and brandy in a saucepan. Slightly mash the fruit into the sugar and leave for 30 minutes.

Place saucepan on medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the fruit is soft and jam like. Around 15 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool completely.

*prep an ice bath

Pour the milk and cream into a medium saucepan. Slice the vanilla pods and scrape in the seeds. Pop in the pods as well and bring to a simmer.

While the milk and cream are heating whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and fluffy.

Just before the milk mixture starts to boil pour about a cupful into the eggs and whisk as you pour to temper the eggs. Pour the rest of the hot mixture in and whisk well.

Return the mixture to the heat and using a spatula cook the mixture gently until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. (85˚C for those with a thermometer.)

Sieve the mixture into the bowl and place in an ice bath. Stir until completely cool to stop the cooking process. Pop in the fridge if necessary.

Transfer the ice cream base into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.

*If you do not have an ice cream machine pop the mixture into a ziplock bag and freeze. Once frozen break into chunks and pop in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Scoop ice cream into a bowl once completing either method. Fold cooled compote into the ice cream base to form compote ripples and freeze.

Scoop and serve with fresh gooseberries and kumquats.

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

kumquat & gooseberry ice cream | The Secret Life of Bee

 

vovo’s oatmeal raisin cookies

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The husband has been talking about these oatmeal raisin cookies since our early dating days when he only liked me for my washing machine. He explained how his German granny ‘Vovo’ made these for him growing up and no matter what biscuit/crunchie/cookie I baked for him nothing could ever compare to these. At the time I was ever so slightly peeved. How good could these cookies be? Well I recently found out… and they are that good.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

On our recent trip to the states Vovo arrived at our airbnb one day with a bag full of groceries for me and this recipe. Now no pressure but I had to bake these cookies for the entire family. No problemo. So I get cracking in the kitchen with an oven that keeps tripping, no mixing bowls, no scale or baking utensils and only a 1/2 cup for measuring and one plastic teaspoon. We even had to make a dash to the shops to buy a baking tray. Anyhoo, all that aside and some suspect measuring later the most delicious smell on earth was emanating from the kitchen. This recipe makes about 40-50 cookies depending on their size. They lasted just under 24 hours. They were inhaled.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The type of oats you use for these oatmeal raisin cookies is rather important. Try find big, beautiful, large flake rolled oats. Definitely don’t use any instant or quick oats. They will alter the texture and you definitely don’t want that. These cookies are superbly crunchy and chewy at the same time. I found some gorgeous big rolled oats at Wellness Warehouse for those in SA. As for the chocolate- dark chocolate chips are the way forward or else a slab of dark chocolate chopped into chunks that will make glorious oozy gooey pockets of love. Oh and just a warning- the raw dough is ADDICTIVE. I tucked in while rolling the cookies out and actually reduced the amount of work I had to do as I was decreasing the dough rapidly. Whoops.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Vovo’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes A LOT (40-50 depending on size)

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 190g flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 330g rolled oats
  • 170g raisins
  • 100g dark chocolate chips/chunks

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon and sea salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well.

Finally fold in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Place the mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out scant tablespoons of dough into little balls.

Refrigerate the balls for another 30 minutes and then bake them off in batches for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Dunk in some cold milk and enjoy! 

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

red wine poached pear clafoutis

red wine poached pear clafoutis | The Secret Life of Bee

This scrumptious red wine poached pear clafoutis was such a happy accident. I was watching old episodes of The Roux Legacy and Albert and Michel are just so darn captivating. They were making a traditional cherry clafoutis. The clafoutis looked incredibly delicious plus their French accents already had me in a tizz and I needed to make that thing now!

red wine poached pear clafoutis | The Secret Life of Bee

Problem number one- cherries aren’t in season here at the moment and number two I didn’t fancy leaving the house for ingredients. I wanted a fruit that would give me a tender mouthfeel that would work well with the custard like filling but also  a fruit that would keep it’s shape. Hello little pears peeking out of my fruit basket. Their fate was sealed when I spotted the open bottle of red wine from the night before and voilà I got the poaching liquid on the go.

red wine poached pear clafoutis | The Secret Life of Bee

I cannot take any credit for the clafoutis base recipe. It’s the original recipe from the Roux brothers and I put my own spin on it by adding some orange zest and Grand Marnier. I also poached my pears with a fair whack of cinnamon. It’s so fragrant and delicious and the final product has a hints of milk tart flavours!

Red wine poached pear clafoutis

serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe pears, peeled, halved & cored
  • 500ml red wine
  • 3 cinnamon sticks or half a handful of the bark
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 160 g plain flour
  • 160 g butter, melted and cooled
  • 300 ml milk
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or powder
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier or Brandy
  • zest of 1 orange
  • granulated sugar for dusting
  • butter for greasing

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 22cm tart dish with butter.

Combine the red wine, cinnamon and sugar with a splash of water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the pear halves and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, turning the pears every couple of minutes, until the pears are soft and evenly coloured. Remove and cool.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl and then sift in the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cooled melted butter, followed by the milk and sugar. Finally add the vanilla, Grand Marnier and orange zest.

Place the pears evenly over the base of the tart dish. Pour over the clafoutis mix without spilling on the tops of the pears.

Place in the oven and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes until lightly golden and set.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar while hot, leave to set slightly and serve warm.

red wine poached pear clafoutis | The Secret Life of Bee

red wine poached pear clafoutis | The Secret Life of Bee

 

orange tea cake with Greek yoghurt frosting

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

Pass me a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of this orange tea cake and i’m as happy as Larry. I adore all citrus fruit and have been munching on an excessive amount of Clementines and Navel oranges recently. Granny dearest is also a big fan of the old citrus family but an even bigger fan of the cake family. She requested something to accompany her cup of tea and voilà this orange tea cake happened!

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

I returned from the shops with some bits and bobs for cake making and suddenly realised i’d been so focussed on the cake itself i’d completely forgotten about any form of icing. The cake is rich, sweet and incredibly moist so it needed something that wouldn’t overpower the delicious sponge and it’s zesty flavour. I also wanted a white icing for aesthetic purposes and found myself digging in the fridge for cream. No cream was discovered but the Greek yoghurt looked at me and said, “Hey- I’m creamy and smooth and delicious. Give me a shot at this.”

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

To top off the Greek yoghurt frosting I candied some orange slices in a thyme infused syrup. The smell in your kitchen is reason enough to make this cake with haste. Thyme goes so well with sweet baked goods as well as cocktails. I love adding herbs to desserts and drinks for a kick of flavour, a boost in scent and some colour.

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

I made two cakes pictured here as I wanted to layer them but this recipe makes a single layer cake which is all you really need for a cake like this. You can always go back for a second slice. Obvs. And keep an eye on the orange slices when simmering away in syrup. You want them very tender but not disintegrated! Now get baking and tea making. I can smell the Bergamot orange and happiness in the air.

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

Orange tea cake with Greek yoghurt frosting

makes 1 single layer cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges, zested & juiced
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 65ml milk
  • 200g flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Candied orange slices:

  • 2 oranges, cut into slices
  • 200g sugar
  • 250ml water
  • bunch of fresh thyme

Frosting:

  • 125ml Greek yoghurt
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 orange, zested

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line and grease a 20cm cake tin.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Pour in the milk, orange juice and orange zest. Mix well.

Finally sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in well without overworking the batter.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake thoroughly on a cooling rack before icing.

To make the candied orange slices bring the sugar and water to the boil in a small pot. Add the thyme and orange slices and turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes. Using tongs flip the orange slices and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Drain and place on some baking paper and in the fridge to firm up.

To make the icing beat all the ingredients together until smooth.

Drizzle the icing over the cake and place in the fridge for the icing to set.

Invite some friends over for an orange infused tea party! You can even keep the theme going and all dress up as Donald Trump!

orange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Beeorange tea cake with greek yoghurt frosting | The Secret Life of Bee

 

 

 

brandy snap biscuits

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

The humble brandy snap biscuit. To your rescue when you have dinner guests arriving in 5 minutes and you haven’t prepped dessert. Brandy snaps are quick to make, delicious to eat and super entertaining for your guests to watch you burn your finger tips on. 

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

I used to think I was so fancy when I was little. I would make brandy snap baskets and serve sorbet in them for family dinners. They’re so versatile. Sorbet and ice cream is a treat served in their crunchy clutches. Filling them with whipped cream and berries is my other favourite as done here because sometimes the simplest desserts are the best. 

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Shape wise you can really play around. Moulding them into cylinders works great for fillings. Moulding them around a small glass will create a little basket shape to put things in. Of course you can also always leave them to harden as is in disk form and top a dessert with them for some great textural crunch. 

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

I’m not going to lie. You’ve got to put your big girl/boy pants on and just deal with the heat. There’s a sweet spot temperature wise when they are perfect for moulding. You have to let them cool ever so slightly once out of the oven or they will be too soft and you cannot let them cool too much or they become brittle and break. So aim for somewhere in between the two. I use a very skinny rolling pin to make the cylinders but you can use whatever random utensil or handle you have in the kitchen. Give it a light spritz with some spray & cook and you’re all set. 

Brandy snap biscuits

makes about 10

Ingredients:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g brown sugar 
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

whipped cream & berries to serve

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with a silicon mat or baking paper.

Mix butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Melt slowly over low-medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Whisk the ground ginger, salt and flour together to mix well. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the liquid butter/sugar/syrup mix. Stir together to form a stiff batter. Finally add the brandy and lemon juice. Mix well.

Spoon two tablespoons of mixture onto the silicon mat fairly far apart. I do two at a time as they spread a lot and this gives you enough time to mould them before hardening.

Cook the two brandy snaps for about 8 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Mould them around a handle making sure to press the two end together so they stick together and close the cylinder. Let cool until hard.

Pipe them full of whipped cream spiked with plenty of brandy and sweetened with a touch of icing sugar. Serve with fresh berries and enjoy!

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

brandy snap biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits- like my mamma made

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

As winter approaches I find myself wanting a hot cup of tea and something to dunk into it. These Anzac biscuits are one of my all time favourite biscuits for dunking and general munching. I have been making this recipe with my mom since I was too short to reach a counter top. Apart from their obvious baked, crunchy yumminess I think I loved this recipe as a child because the raw mixture it utterly delicious and I would eat half of it before it made its way to the baking tray. That and the foamy bubbling awesomeness when you add the bicarb to the butter and syrup makes this such a fun recipe to teach eager little budding cooks.

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Our dear and ancient cookbook that the original recipe hails from is half glued shut with bits of batter and syrup. It also might be missing a few several pages out of it. The original recipe is from “The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits” by The Australian Women’s Weekly. I have no clue where our sticky copy of this beloved old book is now but the recipe is so easy you’ll know it off by heart after the first try. To be honest most Anzac biscuit recipes are very similar and just differ by the amount of coconut or sugar some people add. So don’t fret about this recipe ever not turning out if you add a bit too much or a tad too little of something. I add a good dose of vanilla and some sea salt to mine which the original recipe doesn’t call for but I think are lovely additions. Now put the kettle on and get baking!

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 215g brown sugar
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 125g butter
  • 45g golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method:

Preheat oven to 150˚C.

Combine the flour, sugar, oats, coconut and salt in a large bowl.

Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan and stir over heat until the butter is completely melted. Mix the bicarb of soda into the boiling water and add to the saucepan. Stir well until completely combined and foamy.

Pour butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and mix well.

Roll tablespoon size balls of the mixture and place evenly spaced out onto a greased or lined baking sheet.

Bake at 150˚C for 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and firm up slightly on the baking tray before transferring the biscuits onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

persimmon bread with pistachios & cranberries

persimmon bread | The Secret Life of Bee

I went to Franschhoek with some friends this weekend and the road was lined with fruit sellers holding big bags of bright orange persimmons. Of course we pulled over onto the side of the road and bargained our way to two bags of the ripest most beautiful sunset coloured persimmons we could find. These persimmons look like fat squat orange tomatoes. This is the Fuyu persimmon. It is sweet when hard and increases in sweetness the riper it gets. You can eat it as is or use it in salads, sorbets or bake with it etc. The other type of persimmon is the Hachiya persimmon which looks more like an elongated Roma tomato and must be extremely ripe when eaten or else it’s terribly sour and astringent.

persimmon bread | The Secret Life of Bee

This persimmon bread will make your kitchen smell amazing. It’s jam packed with so many layers of flavour. The sweet persimmons pair beautifully with the cinnamon and vanilla. The splash of Whiskey adds a lovely smokey dimension and the dried fruit and pistachios add some great texture. I came across this recipe from David Lebovitz which he adapted from Beard on Bread by James Beard. I’ve tweaked it to my liking with the cinnamon and vanilla and removed the nutmeg. I’ve also played with the nuts and fruit I added and so can you. You can adapt this recipe to your liking as it is very forgiving much like a banana bread or pumpkin loaf. Make sure your persimmons are nice and ripe. Not on the verge of bursting like a Hachiya persimmon should be but like an over-ripe tomato- slightly soft and squishy to the touch.

persimmon bread | The Secret Life of Bee

I have also used two types of flour in this loaf. Half all-purpose and half wholegrain. This BIO-WHEAT wholegrain flour is amazing. My mom bought it for me to hint for a batch of rusks and i’ve totally fallen in love with a bag of flour. This stone ground flour is produced in the Overberg and the farm is GMO free and organic. It’s flavourful, textured and healthy. Ok- enough about flour. Get baking!

Persimmon bread with pistachios & cranberries

makes 1 large loaf

Ingredients:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 200g wholegrain flour
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 280g persimmon pulp (one very full cup)
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 70g raisins
  • 70g dried cranberries
  • 70g pistachios
  • 30ml whiskey

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C and line a large loaf tin with baking paper and brush with butter.

Cut the persimmons in half around their middle. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the flesh and mush with a fork.

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

Add the eggs, melted butter and persimmon pulp and mix.

Finally add the raisins, cranberries, pistachios and whiskey.

Pour into prepared tin and bake in the oven for +- 40 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before turning out and put the kettle on because a slice of this is destined to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea.

persimmon bread | The Secret Life of Bee

persimmon bread | The Secret Life of Bee

 

 

 

 

fig jam with honey & vanilla

fig jam with honey & vanilla | The Secret Life of Bee

This fig jam is the most scrumptious jam I have ever made. The intense fig flavour is enhanced by subtle hints of honey and vanilla. It is a stunning jam destined for a beautiful piece of buttered toast. I also adore the texture of fig jam. I love the little seeds that gently pop in your mouth and the smooth and chunky aspect of the bits and bobs of fig. I cut the figs into quarters for this jam so I still end up with some big squishy pieces of fig at the end.

fig jam with honey & vanilla | The Secret Life of Bee

This jam is also a winner to cook other things with. Beautiful jammy tartlets, a filling for homemade crepes, a topping on a cheesecake or to stuff French toast with! As you have probably gathered figs are one of my favourite foodie indulgences. And when they’re in season and don’t break the bank I tend to go a bit wild. So I might have enough fig jam to feed a small army in my fridge. (That small army tends to be made up of soldiers that live in my husbands belly and march into the kitchen around midnight.)

fig jam with honey & vanilla | The Secret Life of Bee

Fig jam with vanilla & honey

Ingredients:

  • 1kg figs
  • 300g sugar
  • 100g unprocessed honey
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped or 1 tsp ground vanilla powder

Method:

Wash the figs and trim their tops off. Cut into quarters and place in a large bowl.

Add the sugar, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the bowl. If using a vanilla pod add the scraped seeds as well as the pod to the bowl. Stir everything well and leave to sit for one hour.

Scrape the ingredients into a pot and bring everything to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes.

Pour jam into jars and pop in the fridge. The jam will keep for a few weeks if not canned properly. If you’d like to preserve the jam properly follow these easy steps.

fig jam with honey & vanilla | The Secret Life of Bee

fig jam with honey & vanilla | The Secret Life of Bee

dulce de leche panna cotta

dulce de leche panna cotta | The Secret Life of Bee

I was spoiled with a giant tub of the finest dulce de leche in Argentina last year. I brought it back and have been umming and ahhing about what to make with this deliciousness. I had my sexy Spanish speaking friends over for dinner one night and it seemed fitting I break out the dulce de leche. Panna cotta is one of our favourite dinner party desserts and so a combination of the two was born. And what a combo!

dulce de leche panna cotta | The Secret Life of Bee

The dulce de leche has a rich sweetness and gives an incredible layer of caramel flavour. The smell of it melting into the warm cream is enough to make you want to drink it straight out of the pot. I had several ladles teaspoons just to make sure i’d added enough. You can pair it with a different topping depending on what fruit is in season. A tart raspberry coulis and a crunchy crumble would also work beautifully. You can even buy some almond biscotti and break it up over the panna cottas before serving for some texture.

dulce de leche panna cotta | The Secret Life of Bee

Dulce de leche panna cotta

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 750ml cream
  • 250g dulce de leche
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 4 sheets gelatine 
  • pomegranate rubies

Method:

Place cream and vanilla in a small pot and heat. Once warm add the dulce de leche and stir until combined and the cream is hot.

Soak the gelatine leaves in very cold or ice water. Squeeze out the residual water when they are soft and add the leaves to the pot off the heat.

Whisk the gelatine into the cream mixture until completely dissolved. 

Strain the cream mixture though a fine sieve for a perfectly silky texture. 

Pour into little ramekins or glasses and place in the fridge to set. (at least 4 hours) 

Top with pomegranate rubies just before serving. Granadillas and raspberries also work beautifully with this panna cotta. 

dulce de leche panna cotta | The Secret Life of Bee

dulce de leche panna cotta | The Secret Life of Bee