10 April 2006

Cooking by Proxy: TSIR #1 - cardamom-almond panna cotta

I'm just not that girl. You know the one...the girl who's happiest eating out nightly, the one with a shopping trolley filled with factory-made frozen entrees, the one who'd prefer that someone else do all the cooking.

By default I almost became that girl--
my rather sudden reacquaintanceship with concrete last week has pretty much left me unable to stand, unaided, for any real length of time.

For the first few days I survived on takeaway from two nearby restaurants--a pretty good Vietnamese place and Harvey's (when did Harvey's get rid of their apple pies? anyone?). Fine for a couple of days, but not fine for a couple of months.

Then I had an idea.

I call it "cooking by proxy."

The exbf calls it "Jasmine sits in a chair and tells me what to do and how to do it."


The exbf is a good cook--he makes my most favourite shepherd's pie on this planet. He makes a really good chilli and a yummy stirfry. (And before you ask, The Fussy Eater will have his turn at being my kitchen helper...just not quite yet (busy with a work project)).

We're currently working things out...I'm learning that there are different methods to mincing garlic and he's learning that my knives are very, very sharp...all-in-all, a win-win situation.


This is my first cooking by proxy post...which is also this month's cardamom post...which is also my contribution to Barbara's
The Spice Is Right foodblogging event (how's that for multitasking?).

This particular experiment is called cardamom-almond panna cotta.

A few weeks (months?) ago I saw a post about cardamom creme anglaise and thought about turning it into a panna cotta. Cardamom, of course is that lovely little green pod first used 2000 years ago in India--both for its medicinal and culinary properties. The cardamom I use is from my auntie's plantation in Kerala...yeah, I'm lucky that way.

I based this recipe on the one in The Silver Spoon, replacing the vanilla bean with the powdered seeds of a cardamom pod and adding some almond extract. The end result is really lovely--sweet and lightly almondy with the slightly eucalypt, bittersweet flavour added by the spice.

I must say the exbf did really well with this. He, of course, can't partake because the texture squicks him out (anything vaguely pudding-like is off his books)...which means I must commit the ultimate sacrifice and snarfle them all for my self.

This recovery thing is hard work, but someone's got to do it.

Cardamom-almond panna cotta
1Tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder
125mL milk
560mL heavy cream
100g castor sugar
7mL almond extract
seeds of one cardamom pod, powdered

Putting it together
Bloom the gelatine in two tablespoons of cold water.

Put sugar, cardamom and cream into a saucepan and place on the flamed hob. Over a medium-low flame, bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring constantly. Take the sweet cream off the flame and pour into a one-litre measuring jug. Stir in the milk, softened gelatine and the extract.

Pour the mixture into six individually-portioned ramekins and set in the fridge for about six hours or until set.


Related posts:

The Spice Is Right: Ancient Spices round-up Part I

The Spice Is Right: Ancient Spices round-up Part II

The Spice Is Right: Ancient Spices round-up Part III


Before the nonsense: 44 cups; 3 free coffees, 1 free doughnut
Now: 34 cups, 7 free coffees


Journal Actif said...

This sounds divine!
The Exbf seems to be very helpful, lucky woman. How's your foot?.

Anonymous said...

Ok ... exactly when did Harvey's get rid of the apple pies and why weren't we informed?

Seriously though ... how wonderful, Jasmine! You are definitely the Queen of Cardamom and I just love the panna cotta.

Anonymous said...

I gotta get in on this cooking by proxy business. I just need a decent excuse, preferably not involving concrete ...

Anonymous said...

Awesome. When you get better, you should come visit me and do cooking by teleproxy. In this, you're in my kitchen, on the phone with my mother, and she's teaching you to cook all the traditional stuff that I never learned to cook because I don't cook.

Meanwhile, I sit around. And later I eat.

The more I think about this plan, the better I like it...

Stephanie said...

How on earth do you manage to get the ex bf to cook??? Man, I take my wok off to you!

Hope you're getting better quickly though. I love the cardamon panna cotta - yums!

jasmine said...


Zoubida--It *was* very good...quite pleased with it.

Ivonne--I hope they were just out and the pies didn't go away permanently. Glad you like the panna cotta.

RS--Concrete is probably the easiest way...or perhaps Mack truck...but, well, you know...

G--as interesting as it sounds, I think if I'm heading out to yours, I'll recruit R as the next minion--I mean *helper*...he won't mind.

Stephanie--ummm...I asked?

Re: ankle. gah. I'd like to forget about it, but the ongoing ache is a very good reminder.


Anonymous said...

When I read Barbara's round up I couldn't believe it! We not only selected the same spice but we also selected the same dish! I am going to have to try your recipe. The almond sounds wonderful!

And I am jealous of your cardamom supply!

Elizabeth said...

Mmmm, that looks good! Cardamom is wonderful in sweet dishes, isn't it. When we were in India we had an amazing dish that was basically a mousse (made from reducing full fat milk) with cardamom and sugar. I think it was called malaiya and we have never seen it again or seen a recipe for it.

However, we do make a very very easy (could be an excellent "cooking by proxy" dish) dessert that is as delicious - even though it's a bit different. It is made by hanging fullfat yoghurt in a cheesecloth until most of the liquid has dripped out. Then superfine sugar, cardamom and saffron are stirred in.

I hope you don't mind that I'm posting our recipe for it: srikund. It just seems like the perfect dessert for someone who is a cardamom addict.


P.S. And oww!! Sprained ankles are NO fun! I hope it mends soon.

K and S said...

Ooh, this sounds great!!

Anonymous said...

delicious recipe.Thanks for sharing.