Mastic is a beautiful ingredient that comes from the island of Chios – it’s the resin of a local oak tree. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon. The key to a great panna cotta is serving it in a glass so that you don’t have to add too much gelatine and end up with a rubbery result. - George Calombaris
- 410 ml pouring cream
- 60 gm caster sugar
- 6 gm mastic, finely ground in a mortar and pestle (see note)
- 200 ml milk
- 2 gelatine leaves (gold strength), soaked in cold water
- To serve: Greek coffee soil (optional, see <a href='http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/chocolate_baklava.htm'>chocolate baklava</a>) and honey
- 250 gm fresh strawberries
- 175 ml pink sparkling wine
- 100 gm icing sugar
- For deep frying: vegetable oil
- 160 gm plain flour
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 9 gm fresh yeast (see note)
- 1Place cream in a bowl and set aside. Combine sugar, mastic and milk in a pan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and mastic. Reduce heat to low and cook gently for 15 minutes. Squeeze water from gelatine and add to milk mixture, stirring to dissolve gelatine, then strain through a fine sieve onto cream, stirring to combine. Cool slightly, then divide among 6 martini glasses. Refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
- 2Meanwhile, for macerated strawberries, combine all ingredients in a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, place over saucepan of simmering water and cook until soft (1 hour). Cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
- 3For Greek doughnuts, preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 180C. Combine flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, dissolve yeast in 160ml lukewarm water, then add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until double in size (1½-2 hours). Use your hands to squeeze golf ball-sized doughnuts straight into the deep fryer in batches (be careful as hot oil may splash), and cook until golden (5-6 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, then serve immediately scattered with coffee soil with panna cotta topped with macerated strawberries and honey to the side.
Note Mastic is available in 2gm sachets from Herbie's Spices or at Middle-Eastern and Greek delicatessens. You can substitute dry yeast for fresh, just use half the quantity.
Drink Suggestion: Must be rosé. I like the balance of red fruits and cinnamon in the Gosset Grand Rosé NV, Ay, France. Drink suggestion by Andrew Phillpot