Chocolate Mint Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil - The Sweet Rebellion
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Chocolate Mint Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil

Not many desserts can claim to be impressive to look at and unbelievably delicious, yet easy to make. This Chocolate Mint Panna Cotta is exactly that. Just perfect in it’s simplicity – a silky-smooth and creamy dessert that looks gorgeously tempting, but is created with just a small number of ingredients and hands-on time of only of a matter of minutes.

Even so, I couldn’t resist adding a crumbly chocolate soil on the side. This is not the chocolate soil of the crushed biscuit variety, this is actually something quite magical – crystallised chocolate. Don’t be intimidated by the sound of that, in essence it simply involves adding chopped choclate to a bubbling sugar syrup and whisking like mad. The chocolate soil adds a delicious crunchy element to the dish and looks rather pretty too. It is important to use a 70% dark chocolate though, otherwsie the soil will be too sweet.

Try my Vanilla Panna Cotta and Honey Panna Cotta too!

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mint Panna Cotta:
80g Afrikoa 70% chocolate bar (available at Faithful to Nature)
250ml cream
250ml full cream milk
75ml sugar
2 sprigs of fresh mint
10ml powdered gelatine
30ml water

Chocolate Soil:
200g castor sugar
100ml water
100g Afrikoa 70% chocolate bar (available at Faithful to Nature)

Mint leaves, to decorate

Directions:

  • For the Panna cotta, lightly oil 4 x 150ml dariole moulds, ramekins or tea cups.
  • Roughly chop the chocolate and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and allow to sponge for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the cream, milk, sugar and mint on low heat until it just comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chopped chocolate and the sponged gelatine. Use a whisk to mix well until completely dissolved.
  • Strain over a fine sieve into a measuring jug, then pour into your prepared moulds.
  • Refrigerate for a 3-4 hours until set.
  • For the chocolate soil, line a baking tray with a silicon mat or greaseproof paper.
  • Roughly chop the chocolate and set aside.
  • Place the castor sugar and water into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Increase the heat to high and continue cooking until the syrup is bubbling vigourously and comes to 135°C on a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, cook until the syrup at the edges of the saucepan is just starting to turn golden.
  • Quickly remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate to the syrup, whisking as fast as possible. The chocolate will melt and then crystallise. Continue whisking until it forms a sandy, crumbly texture.
  • Decant the chocolate soil onto the prepared tray and leave to cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight container until needed.
  • When you are ready to serve, briefly dip the panna cotta moulds into warm water, then invert onto a plate (or serve as is in ramekin/teacup). Decorate each plate with 1-2 tbsp of chocolate soil and a sprig of mint.

 

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