Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons gelatine
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
5 ounces quality semisweet dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound fresh cherries or substitute 1 jar preserved sour cherries, drained.
3/4 cup Vancouver Island Starling Lane Blackberry Port…see www.starlinglanewinery.com
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Firm Crème Fraîche

1 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons buttermilk
sugar to taste
Almond Tuile

¼ cup whipping cream
½ tsp almond extract
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fine ground almonds
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt, orange zest to taste
½ cup sliced almonds for garnish
For Panna Cotta (Prepare a day ahead)
Spray six large ramekins with the non-stick spray. In a small pot- pour in cold milk, sprinkle in gelatine, let soften 5-10 min then lightly warm the mixture, reserve. In another pot- combine cream and sugar. Heat to just below the boiling point. Add chocolate, whisk until melted. Add chocolate mixture to the gelatine mixture. Stir in vanilla. Mix well. (An immersion blender may be used).
Stir over an ice bath until syrupy and divide among the ramekins. Refrigerate overnight.

For Cherries
Combine port, sugar and vinegar. Simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the cherries. Remove from heat.

For Crème Fraîche
In a sanitized container combine the whipping cream and buttermilk. Cover and let sit in a warm room 24-30 hours.
Once thickened, chill overnight. Whip with the sugar until fluffy.

For Almond Tuile

In a small pot- heat the butter, orange zest and cream until the butter is melted. Add the vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients, combine with the cream mixture to form a smooth paste. Chill until thickened. Portion into 1 tbsp balls, do not flatten, (these are self spreading). Bake at 325ºF until golden brown, aprox. 7 minutes sprinkling with sliced almonds half way through baking. Cool slightly and quickly roll around a wooden dowel. Protect from moisture.

Run a paring knife around the inside of the ramekins. Flip over the ramekins and firmly tap the ramekin to release the panna cotta onto the plates. Garnish with whipped crème fraîche, tuile and cherry sauce.

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