Lately I am in a somewhat feisty mood. This is mainly based on the fact that a recent ear infection caused my left ear to now be somewhat partially deaf – I hear everything – myself included – as if I am sitting underwater in the ocean or a swimming pool. It drives me absolutely bananas, hence the feisty attitude. I think this is now reflected in my choice of this weeks dessert selection – Beet Panna Cotta?! I think I chose a dessert completely out of my comfort zone (no chocolate but therefore veggies in a dessert?) because I am not in my own comfort zone these days – so why not also go out of my comfort zone when it comes to making dessert? The gourmet in you might think its completely normal to cook with beets for dessert, to me it felt like I am in an episode of “Chopped” where you get one of these crazy food baskets with tripe, mint candy and spam and you have to fabricate a gourmet dish out of it.
So what’s the verdict? Let me say that it looks absolutely stunning – the dark deep beet color combined with the light yellow Lemon mouse make for an amazing color combination and the taste was – well how should I describe it – very beet like. Not sure why I was expecting it would taste different but it truly tastes like beets and I was not in love with it. BUT the lemon mouse was absolutely delicious. So I am posting the beet panna cotta recipe but would recommend to only make it if you are an absolute beet fanatic, otherwise you won’t like it. This is definitely more a dessert for the experimental dessert lover.
Speaking of Love – this was a loved filled weekend with Beatrice’s and Mike’s (The Irish) wedding. The weather gods where all on board with the American/Irish/German union and presented Seattle from its best side. We celebrated with the couples friends and family, danced late into the night in the Alibi room and stopped for a late night snack at Il Bistro. The energized couple toured Seattle with the family the next morning, while Mike and I nursed ourselves back to life. And since I know that Bea will most likely read this post: Congratulations again to the newlyweds and thank you for letting us be part of your very special day.
Beet Panna Cotta with Meyer Lemon Mousse (Bon Appetit March 2015)
Ingredients for the Beet Panna Cotta (makes 6)
- 1/2 pound (2 large) red beets, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Meyer Lemon Mouse
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from approx. 2 Lemons)
- 1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from approx. 2,5 Lemons)
- 12/ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
- 1/2 sugar divided
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
Directions for the Beet Panna Cotta:
- Bring beets, cream and salt to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer very gently until beets are tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine gelatin and 2 Tbsp. cold water in a blender; let sit for 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
- Transfer beets and their cooking liquid do the blender; add honey and vanilla and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discard solids.
- Divide puree amount 6 glasses and chill until set 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
Directions for the Meyer Lemon Mouse
- Bring lemon zest and juice, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks, egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl until pale and thick, about 2 minutes.
- Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon mixture into egg mixture.
- Transfer back to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened and whisk leaves a trail, about 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup butter whisking until melted and curd is smooth.
- Transfer curd to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, whisk cream in a small bowl to soft peaks and gently fold into curd. Spoon mouse over Panna Cotta!