Chef's Recipes

Bar Rochford's hay panna cotta with chamomile pears and malt crumb

Cuddle up to this silky dessert, courtesy of Canberra's Bar Rochford.

By Louis Couttoupes
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus soaking, infusing, setting
  • Serves 8
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"This is a great way to use any leftover hay from the spatchcock; and the flavour is honeyed and warm," says Louis Couttoupes of Canberra's Bar Rochford. "The malt crumb is based on a recipe in Christina Tosi's Milk Bar, one of the best dessert cookbooks out there." Begin this recipe a day ahead to infuse the cream and pears.

Ingredients

  • 100 gm oaten hay (see note)
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) pouring cream
  • 100 gm raw honey
  • 3½ titanium-strength gelatine leaves
Chamomile pears
  • 2 Packham pears, peeled and cut into 1cm rounds
  • 160 gm caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp loose-leaf chamomile tea
Malt crumb
  • 70 gm white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 40 gm milk powder
  • 40 gm plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 25 gm caster sugar
  • 50 gm diced butter
  • 20 gm malt powder (preferably Horlicks)

Method

  • 1
    Wash hay, then soak in clean water for 10 minutes. Drain, shaking out excess water. Roast on oven trays, turning at intervals, to dry and toast evenly (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a large heatproof bowl or deep-sided container. Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan then pour it over the hay. Cool, then refrigerate to infuse (overnight). The next day, strain 1 litre cream through a fine sieve into a saucepan over mediumhigh heat, add honey and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, soften gelatine leaves in cold water (5 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to cream, whisking to dissolve. Pour 125ml cream mixture into each of eight 150ml glasses and refrigerate until chilled and set (6-8 hours; avoid disturbing panna cotta while it sets or it may split).
  • 2
    For chamomile pears, place pear in a heatproof bowl. Bring sugar and 160ml water to the boil in a saucepan, add tea, then strain onto the pear. Leave to infuse for at least 1 hour or overnight. Halve pear discs.
  • 3
    For malt crumb, preheat oven to 140°C. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don't let bowl touch water). Combine milk powder, flour, cornflour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add butter and rub in with your fingers until it's a sandy consistency. Bake on an oven tray until crumbly but not browned (10-15 minutes). Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl and, working quickly, toss through malt powder to coat. Slowly pour in melted chocolate and stir to coat. Spread on an oven tray to cool. Malt crumb will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days.
  • 4
    Top panna cotta with pear and milk crumb to serve.

Notes

Oaten hay is available from pet shops.
Drink suggestion:A perfectly balanced, fruity white such as the 2005 Domaine Huet Vouvray "Le Haut-Lieu" Moelleux, from the Loire. Drink suggestion by Nick Smith.

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