This Chai Panna Cotta with Vanilla Poached Pears is such a delicious dessert. It reminded me a bit of a crème caramel when I poured the syrup over it for serving.
I love using tea to infuse panna cotta and have used rooibos before in this Panna Cotta with Poached Grapefruit recipe and it was utterly delicious. The cream is not too sweet and it is perfumed with the spices from the chai tea with the sweet vanilla pears adding texture to the dessert.
Doing it as a loaf is tricky, you need to make sure you line the loaf pan very well with the plastic wrap, making sure there are no gaps between the layers of plastic for the cream mixture to seep through otherwise it is a bit of a disaster. You do get the lines from the plastic on the dessert so if you prefer your dessert looking less “messy”, it is perhaps better to make it in a ramekin. But I think the loaf version has a certain wow factor to it.
You could make these in individual ramekins and the recipe will yield enough for 8 individual desserts. The recipe can easily be halved as well to make 4 individual desserts. Serve it in the ramekins or lightly oil each ramekin before filling with the mixture so that you can turn them out once set.
I used a delicious Hot Cross Bun Chai Tea available from My Collections and loved the spicy and citrus notes it delivered. The Vanilla drizzle is also from the My Collections website. An alternative poaching liquid for the pears would be to heat 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, the seeds from one vanilla bean and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Follow the rest of the instructions as you would using the drizzle.
This is another recipe that I developed for My Collections with products available on the site. My Collections is a treasure-trove of the best food, adventures and stories that the world has to offer. It’s the flavour of the unknown – an online wandering goods market of unique tastes, sensations and new adventures. Go have a look.
- Panna Cotta:
- 500ml cream
- 500ml full cream milk
- ½ cup sugar
- Good pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons loose leaf Chai Tea
- 8 sheets gelatine
- 2 liter cold water to soak the gelatine
- Poached Pears:
- 3 pears, cores and sliced into 8 slices
- 1 cup African Vanilla Bean Drizzle
- 1 cup water
- Line a medium sized loaf pan with a volume capacity of more than 1 litre with plastic wrap. Make sure there are no gaps for the liquid to seep under or between the plastic.
- Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt to just below boiling point while stirring until the sugar has dissolved
- Remove from the heat, add the tea leaves and let it infuse for about 8 minutes (tasting the mixture is the best indication when to stop the infusion)
- Once the desired infusion strength has been reached pour the mix through a fine sieve to remove all the leaves
- Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes, wring the sheets out and add the sheets to the warm cream mixture.
- Stir until dissolved and pour into the prepared loaf pan
- Let it set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Bring the water and drizzle to the boil and add the pear slices.
- Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the pears are cooked through. This will depend on the ripeness of the pears
- Remove from the poaching liquid and let the slices cool
- Bring the poaching liquid to a fast boil and reduce to a thin syrup and let it cool while the panna cotta sets.
- When the panna cotta has set, gently turn over onto a serving platter and remove the plastic wrap
- Spoon the pears on top and serve the syrup on the side or drizzled on top
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