Chai and Blueberry Panna Cotta Slice

Hazel

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 8

Chai is one of my new favourite things. I think most people of my generation and older are familiar with the term “cup of chai”, referring to a cup of tea but I have only recently discovered the particular blend of chai spices, and more specifically, chai latte. Oh my god, it’s like a warm spiced hug in a mug!

I’m not usually a great fan of milky drinks as I don’t really like milk. I’ll have it in my coffee and tea, and occasionally indulge in a hot chocolate or a milkshake but you’ll never catch me drinking just milk (bleurgh). 

Chai is something that has buzzed around in the periphery of my food and drink awareness for a while but I actually tried it when we got a coffee machine subscription and were looking through the options of pods for our next delivery. We got some chai lattes and, I kid you not, they were gone within a week of the delivery arriving. It is one of the most wonderful things I have ever tasted.

Not that I have an obsessive mind, but I spent many many hours after trying chai lattes thinking of ways to incorporate that wonderful, warm spiced flavour into other things. This creative frenzy was further fuelled by the discovery that our supermarket sells pots of chai spice powder – ready mixed no less – and with an encouragement on the tin to “add some to your baking and cooking”!

It seemed a natural evolution to try converting a vanilla panna cotta (one of our very favourite desserts) into a chai latte panna cotta. A panna cotta is one of those desserts that seems like you should have spent hours making it but it is in fact disgustingly easy and quick! And it seemed a further natural evolution to try making into a panna cotta cheesecake style slice.

My first instinct with panna cotta is always to put some berries in it – the silky, creamy smoothness with the freshness, tang and sweetness of berries has never failed me before. Blueberries are a quite gentle yet robust flavour that complements the spices rather than overtaking or being overtaken by them and initially I tried just popping a few in the panna cotta before setting it but the textures weren’t quite right so I decided to try this set topping idea and it works beautifully!

I’m still very much in the process of experimenting with chai spice – how else can I use it? What flavours and ingredients work with it? I promise you now that there will be quite a few recipes appearing with some kind of chai influences!

So let me know what you think of my chai and blueberry panna cotta slice – you can use the comments section or the Contact Me form on the site. I also share all my recipes to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter so there’s definitely a way for you to get in touch – and I love hearing from you! Enjoy DDx.

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Chai and Blueberry Panna Cotta Slice


  • Author: Hazel
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

A Chai Latte panna cotta over a biscuit base with a set blueberry compote topping.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Base:

  • 180 g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 75 g butter, melted

Chai Panna Cotta filling:

  • 4 sheets of leaf gelatine
  • 150 ml milk
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoons chai spice powder

Blueberry Topping:

  • 300g blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 sheets of leaf gelatine
  • Optional decoration ideas – icing sugar, edible glitter, mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter in a pan over a low heat to melt. Meanwhile put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to crumbs (you can put them in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin if you prefer).
  3. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and put into the prepared tin, pressing down to evenly fill. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  4. Put the gelatine leaves for the panna cotta in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak while you make the panna cotta.
  5. Put the cream and milk into a saucepan. Add the chai latte spice powder and caster sugar and mix well.
  6. Place over a low-medium heat and warm, allowing the chai spices to infuse the cream for 5 minutes, then increase the heat to bring up to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat.
  7. Take the gelatine leaves out of the water and squeeze in your hand to get as much water out of them as you can. Add them to the cream mix and stir until completely dissolved.
  8. Pour the panna cotta mix through a fine mesh sieve over the chilled biscuit base, cover with clingfilm that is touching the surface of the panna cotta to prevent a skin forming.
  9. Put the tin back in the fridge, leaving overnight to set (or for at least 6 hours).
  10. Put the gelatine leaves for the blueberry topping in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak.
  11. Put the blueberries in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Place over a medium heat and cook until the blueberries are broken down and juicy.
  12. Remove from the heat and quickly push through a sieve to remove any bits of skin.
  13. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the gelatine and stir into the blueberries until completely dissolved. Allow to cool (but keep an eye on it as we don’t want it to set in the pan.
  14. Pour the cooled blueberry mix over the set panna cotta and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus set time)

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