White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Apricot Puree & Salted Macadamia Crumb

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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White Chocolate Panna Cotta

Well, I’ve made a rod for my back. This White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Salted Macadamia Crumb and Apricot Puree was declared the absolute best dessert I’ve ever made, by my very discerning foodie family.

Flattering as that is, the problem now is that anything I make from here on in, will clearly fail to impress. Talk about pressure!

Why was this dessert such a success? I can only guess it’s because I made it my mission to ensure all the flavours and textures were balanced. I started off with this white chocolate panna cotta – glorious in its own right, but ultra rich, sweet and creamy. What to do? I reckoned I needed to add components that provided a counter-balance – i.e. a crunchy element to offset the creaminess, saltiness to contrast with the sweetness, and tang to cut through the richness. Adding a salted macadamia crumb immediately came to mind, and then the idea to add an apricot puree alongside. And, as it turns out, matches made in Heaven.

This dessert, with its complex flavours and textures, is a veritable party in your mouth! It’s creamy, sweet, salty, rich, spicy, tangy and crunchy all at once. Boom!

I have to thank Catherine Fulvio from RTE Lifestyle for the hero of the dish – the white chocolate panna cotta. It was unbelievably delicious though, as you can see, not quite the delicate quivering custard we generally associate with a panna cotta. Due to the added white chocolate and yoghurt, this one was much denser in texture and ultra creamy. Not that anyone was complaining!

And, on that note, due to its creaminess, you’ll find that inverting the panna cotta is a bit tricky. You’re not going to get the usual sleek, jelly-like exterior you’d expect, so you might consider not inverting it, but serving it instead in a pretty serving ramekin, tea cup or glass to avoid it looking messy.

I borrowed the salted macadamia crumb component from My Kitchen Rules.co.nz. This nut crumb is so unbelievably moreish that you have to physically restrain yourself from eating it straight from the bowl, or at least restrain family members (you know who you are!) when your back is turned. Macadamia nuts, coconut sugar, maple syrup and sea salt held together with a small amout of butter and roasted in the oven – I mean… there really is nothing more to be said, right?

To finish it off, I made a super simple puree of canned apricots (given fresh apricots aren’t in season as yet), with added honey and vanilla. Simple, refreshing and tangy. The perfect accompaniment to a perfect dessert and one that’s (apparently) impossible to top! Enjoy!

White Chocolate Panna Cotta

White Chocolate Panna Cotta

This creamy, dreamy panna cotta is surprisingly simple to make and tastes like a fancy dessert! Rich white chocolate and a hint of vanilla create a treat for any occasion. We've paired it with a quick homemade apricot puree – so tangy and refreshing – and a sprinkle of crunchy, salty-sweet macadamia crumb.
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Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 615 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the White Chocolate Panna Cotta:

  • 200 g 7 oz good quality white chocolate
  • 300 ml 10.1 fl oz double (heavy) cream
  • 100 g 3.5 oz caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 gelatine sheets I used Equagold Gold Grade
  • 250 ml 8.4 fl oz cold water
  • 200 g 7 oz Greek style natural yoghurt

For the Macadamia Crumb:

  • 100 g 3.5 oz raw macadamia nuts
  • 12 g 0.4 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Sea salt to taste

For the Apricot Puree:

  • 1 tin apricots in juice – retain the juice I used a 410g (14.4 oz) tin
  • 2 tablespoons honey or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

To serve:

  • Salted Macadamia Crumb see recipe
  • Apricot Puree see recipe
  • 25 g 0.8 oz white chocolate, grated (optional)

Instructions
 

For the White Chocolate Panna Cotta (can make the night before):

  • Place a small saucepan with an inch of water in it, on to moderate heat until water is gently simmering. Place the white chocolate, cream, sugar and vanilla into a heat proof bowl and place over top of the saucepan (make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl). Stir regularly until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat when melted.
  • Place the gelatine sheets into the cold water and soak for about 2 to 3 minutes until they are softened. Squeeze all the excess water out of the gelatine and place the gelatine into the warm chocolate and cream mixture, stir through immediately until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the warm mixture through a sieve into a jug.
  • Fold in the yoghurt and carefully pour into the ramekins or alternative serving dishes. Place on a tray and put into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight for a firmer set.

For the Macadamia Crumb:

  • Put the macadamia nuts into a food processor and pulse until it reaches a crumb consistency.
  • Melt butter in fry pan. Add maple syrup, coconut sugar and sea salt (I recommend you add just a little salt at a time, tasting as you go, until you achieve the right level of saltiness) to combine. Add the nuts to the mixture to coat, then transfer them to the oven to caramelize and roast for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Let them cool in the tray to crunch up.

For the Apricot Puree:

  • Put the apricots and 75ml (2.5 fl oz) of the apricot juice into a small saucepan. Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the apricots are soft and the juice has reduced somewhat.
  • Allow to cool, then transfer to a blender (add only a small amount of the liquid to start with so you can control the thickness of the puree, and add more as needed) and blitz until completely smooth. Check for sweetness and adjust by adding more honey if needed. You can transfer the puree to a squeeze bottle if you want to create circular patterns around the panna cotta.

To serve:

  • Take out the panna cotta from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.
  • You can serve the panna cotta in their ramekins, or you can invert it (as I did). If you’re inverting, run a sharp knife around the ramekin and dunk the ramekin in some shallow hot water for a few seconds at a time. If it’s not coming out, simply continue to dunk in hot water until it eventually plops out.
  • Add some macadamia nut crumb alongside (or on top if serving in dishes) and a layer (or swirls) of apricot puree.
  • Sprinkle over some extra grated white chocolate if you like.

Nutrition

Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 9gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 217mgFiber: 2gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 819IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Apricots, Macadamia nuts, Panna Cotta, white chocolate
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the recipe. Loved this panacotta and the nut crumb, my apricot purée was very acidic though, how can I make it a little less sour?

    Reply
    • Hi Mel. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. The apricots do add a tangy note to the dish. However everyone’s tastebuds are different and some apricots are more acidic than others. I’ve mentioned that honey can be used as much as needed to counteract the acidity. Did you find that honey didn’t help?

      Reply

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