Morocco seems to have joined the rest of the Northern Hemisphere in the big chill and this last weekend we had a great time going to see the snow in Ifrane and the surrounding area which is about 2 hours from where we live. In South Africa snow is just not that common and we certainly never see much of it in the warmer parts so for us it is always an exciting event. It was freezing cold (-5°C) which was really chilly for those of us used to the milder climates of coastal Morocco!
The other thing here at the moment is strawberries, I am never sure when strawberry season is here as each year it seems to vary greatly. Last year I bought crates of them in the spring, but this year they have been cropping up in the markets since November. We had a very mild autumn and start to winter which may be why and I know they grow them in tunnels along the coast. But I have learnt in the close to two years we have been living here, that things in Morocco are not always as they should be!
Anyway, I had bought a whole lot last week and decided to make some quick and easy little strawberry and vanilla panna cotta for the kids. Really easy to make and really tasty with not too much added sugar!
1 cup cream
1 ½ cups fat free milk
1/3 cup castor sugar
1 vanilla pod
2 cups of strawberries, cleaned and chopped
6 leaves of gelatine (or 10g of powdered gelatine)
Prepare the gelatine by soaking it in water for about 10 minutes. (For more about preparing gelatine, click here). Squeeze out any excess liquid from the leaves and place these in a small saucepan with 4 Tbs of water and set aside whilst you heat the milk.
Prepare the strawberries and process in a blender till smooth. Strain through a sieve and set aside the strained puree.
Slice the vanilla pod open and scrape the seeds into the milk. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Gently heat the gelatine, stirring continuously until dissolved. Add the strawberries to the milk and cream mixture, blending in with a whisk and then add the gelatine and whisk until it is all blended together.
Pour into individual ramekins or pots and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. If you want to turn them out to serve, dip the ramekins in some warm water for a few seconds and turn out onto plates.
This made the equivalent of 7 x 125ml ramekins.