As we walked down the supermarket aisles, I was always asked to pick out a tub of what I liked. At first, I'd hit Ben & Jerrys, then Haagen Daaz and finally Dreyers. I'd try the mint chocolate chip, the chocolate decadence, chunky monkey, cookie dough, butter pecan, baileys bar. I mean, you name it and I'd have plodded through the flavour.
But that was until I saw my aunt pick out a box of the white chocolate raspberry ice cream from Godiva. White chocolate I said, isn't that a bit too sweet? So pick you own, she told me instead. I picked out the Belgian chocolate.
A movie at home and then some dinner, it was time to grab our tubs and dig in. I don't really like chocolate much, my aunt told me. I just rolled my eyes and asked her if I could have a spoonful of hers.
The white chocolate raspberry ice cream wasn't really white, the creamy texture matched the cream colour and the ripples of bright pink raspberry made it so very pretty. One mouthful and I was in heaven. The white chocolate was so buttery and so sweet while the tartness of the raspberry contrasted so beautifully that it was a party in my mouth.
Another spoonful, she asked me. No, gimme the whole tub.
You see, that's where my love affair of all things white chocolate and raspberry began. At the Cheesecake Factory, it was the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake that became my favourite. At Starbucks, it was this flavour of hot chocolate I wanted over and over again. I was obsessed.
Even when I got back home, it was this flavour that haunted me. I was recreating everything adding raspberries in anything I could see. Except raspberries weren't easy to source in India, so I would constantly rely on the tinned variety. Which, as you know, isn't really the same.
But that was then. Today, you find frozen raspberries just about anywhere. And good quality white chocolate too.
Which is why, when we had a load of white chocolate tobelorone sitting pretty in the fridge, I decided to make the one thing that would require nearly no effort and take me back to a time, when I could eat ice cream by the bucket.
This is a pretty standard recipe for a Panna cotta, but in case you'd like to omit the gelatin just substitute it with some agar agar. The result though, is spectacular. It's really hard to put your spoon down on.
White Chocolate and Raspberry Pannacotta
400 ml cream
200 grams white chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp gelatin soaked in cold water
a pinch of salt
200 grams raspberry
1/3 cup of sugar
1. In a saucepan place the cream, white chocolate, sugar and salt together. Bring the cream to a boil. Turn off the heat, and allow all the chocolate to melt. Add the vanilla extract and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile nuke the gelatin in the microwave for 30 seconds until it melts. Add it to the cream mix and stir well.
3. Strain the mixture and put into individual serving bowls.
5. In a separate saucepan add all the raspberries and the sugar. Turn on the heat and let the raspberry and sugar boil together for five minutes. Turn off and let it cool.
6. Once the mixture is cool, blitz it in a blender. Strain the raspberry mix.
7. Once the panna cotta has set, pour the raspberry coulis on top of it. Chill till ready to serve.