This Chai Panna Cotta with Pistachio Toffee is an easy Italian dessert with an exotic twist. It's a silky smooth Italian panna cotta recipe with the comforting flavour of chai spices that only takes 20 minutes to make.
Course: accompaniment, Dessert
Cuisine: Indian, Italian
Keyword: chai panna cotta, panna cotta, panna cotta recipe, pistachio toffee
For the Panna Cotta
1 3/4cupswhole milk, in 2 parts - see recipe
6chai tea bags, good quality
3teaspoonspowdered gelatine (unflavoured)
1/3cupwhite granulated sugar
1 1/2cupsthickened (heavy) cream
1/4 cupwhite granulated sugar
1tablespoonpistachios, roughly chopped
For the Panna Cotta
If you want to turn the Panna Cotta out onto a plate when set, first start by spraying your dariole moulds or ramekins with oil spray. Wipe them with paper towel so there is only a light covering.
Pour 1 cup of cold milk into a saucepan and add the teabags, cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger and allspice. Sit over low heat swirling the pan every so often, until the milk is steaming and bubbles start appearing around the edge. Turn off the heat.
Cover saucepan and allow the flavours to infuse for 15 minutes. Then strain the mixture, making sure to squeeze the teabags well. Set aside.
Add the final 3/4 cup of cold milk to the empty saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top - don't stir it in yet. Allow the gelatine to soften for 5 minutes (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end).
Turn the heat on low under the saucepan, add back the chai infused milk and stir for a minute or two until the gelatine has dissolved.
Add the sugar and stir again until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two. Make sure not to let the milk boil, you just want to heat it gently until everything is dissolved and no lumps remain.
Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream, vanilla and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Strain the mixture again to make sure you aren’t left with any lumps of undissolved gelatine.
Pour evenly between your dishes or moulds. Place immediately in the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours (or they can be made a day ahead). See notes to unmould.
For the pistachio toffee
Line a small baking tray with baking paper. Place the pistachios in the middle in one layer.
In small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Once it comes to a bubble, stop stirring. Use wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals that form around the sides. Swirl the pan from time to time so that it cooks evenly, until the caramel turns amber.
Pour it over the pistachios on the tray. Once set, break it into small pieces. Store in a sealed container at room temperature until required. Sprinkle on top of the Panna Cotta just before serving.
Recommended equipment: heavy based saucepan, ramekins, dariole moulds, coffee glasses
To unmould, work with just 2-3 at a time, so they don't all melt by the time you get to the last one.
fill a dish with hot (not boiling) water just an inch or so, then sit the moulds into the water for 20-30 seconds.
Dab a little water onto your serving plate (this will make it easier to adjust the position of your panna cotta after plating it)
Place your serving plate on top of the Panna Cotta mould and flip it over. Give the Panna Cotta a gentle shake. They may take a little bit of encouragement but should slide out perfectly.
You can return them to the fridge until ready to serve. Don't unmould them too early or they can end up looking dried out after being in the fridge but a couple of hours is fine.
The Pistachio Toffee may make more than you require, so you can put the rest on the table and let people pick at it or keep it stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for a few days.