Is there anything more comforting than hot sweet black tea with milk? It has always tasted like a big hug to me. It is also probably partly why taking tea with my Mum has been good grief therapy for me. So why not make it into a dessert? Enter: the English breakfast tea panna cotta with raspberries.
The tea recipes
Those of you who subscribe to our monthly emails may have read about our plans for a new series called ‘The tea recipes’.
No, I don’t mean recipes for tea as in dinner. However, as an Australian, I can understand why this might be your first.
In this case, I also don’t mean recipes for formal afternoon tea or to have with a pot of tea. We will be showcasing the former on the blog soon. We definitely have a number of the latter on the blog already.
In this case, I mean recipes, where tea is an important ingredient. Earl grey, rooibos, peppermint, ginger and lemongrass, fennel: we’re planning on coming up with recipes for each of them.
First on our list: classic English breakfast tea.
Last weekend was Oma’s birthday, AKA my mother-in-law. She held the traditional birthday gathering with family and close friends (which unfortunately seems to get smaller each year). While the food, drinks and even the decor has changed little over the last few years, I decided to shake things up a little with dessert.
It was the perfect opportunity to try out my new tea recipe in the form of English breakfast panna cotta.
What is panna cotta?
Italian for “cooked cream”, panna cotta is an Italian dessert with sweetened cream, thickened with gelatin and moulded. Unlike custard, panna cotta is thicked with gelatin and not eggs
The dish traditionally comes from the Piedmont region, near Turin, there is some dispute about the other facts. It was first made in the late 1800s or early 1900s but first appeared in any cookbooks in the 1960s. The Region of Piedmont included it in its list of traditional foods from the region in 2001.
Like a good cup of tea, the tea in this panna cotta can quickly get quite strong. I started with two heaped teaspoons of tea. When the cream started to simmer, I decided to ‘scrape’ a lot of the tea off the top as the tea taste was quickly getting quite strong.
If you don’t enjoy a strong cup of tea, only add one teaspoon of tea leaves. If you have tea bags, I would recommend removing the tea from the bags before adding it to the cream.
I made this recipe with English breakfast tea. If you prefer another type of black tea, by all means use that instead.
I decided to use Weck glass jars for these panna cotta. The only ones that I had enough of were tulip-shaped: they were narrower at the top and not straight on the sides. As a result, I couldn’t tip the panna cotta out to serve, as you normally would. The consistency was still great.
English breakfast tea panna cotta
Are you are looking for a dessert for your next dinner party or special occasion? This English breakfast tea panna cotta is perfect! It is easy and does take too much time but is still impressive, delicious and a little different.
English breakfast tea panna cotta with raspberries
- 3 sheets of gelatine
- 400 mL of cream
- 1 packet of vanilla sugar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 to 2 tsp loose English breakfast tea leaves
- Fresh raspberries washed (approx. 125g)
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and allow to soak for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the cream, vanilla, sugar and tea leaves in a saucepan. Simmer (don’t boil!) over low heat for five minutes.
- Pour the tea cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl to separate out the tea leaves.
- Remove the gelatine from its saucepan and squeeze well to remove as much water as possible. Add to the hot tea cream and stir to dissolve.
- Pour into 4 cold jars or forms. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for 3-4 hours before serving. If time is of the essence, place the bowl in an ice bath and stir the mix until cool then pour into the forms.
- To serve: If in jars, top with raspberries and dust with icing sugar.
- To remove the panna cotta from the forms, hold the forms in warm water for a few seconds before tipping upside down onto a plate. Surround with some raspberries dusted with icing sugar.