I love panacotta.
I love Chai.
I've been wanting to make a Chai panacotta for quite some time now. In fact, I tried to make a baked chai custard in January, but without much success. So when the IMBB for May was announced, I seized on it as a sign from the gods of the kitchen that I must make chai panacotta. This is the first installment in my three-chapter love affair with jelly.
I used a long skinny loaf 1.8L pan, but you could just as easily do this in individual little parfait glasses or some other mould if you like.
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1.5 cups super-strong Earl Grey tea (I used 9 teabags -how many you use will depend on the strength of your teabags)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pieces cinnamon bark
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
7 cardamon pods
5 pkts gelatin
Combine milk and cream in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and 4 pkts of gelatin, stirring to dissolve the sugar and gelatin. Heat the tea in a separate saucepan. To the tea add 1 pkt gelatin and 1.5 cups of the cream & milk mixture. Taste the tea mixture and add additional sugar to taste. Once the sugar and gelatin are dissolved, ladle 1/3 of the tea mixture into the bottom of a cling-film lined loaf tin. Set in the fridge to jell.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining tea mixture into a bowl and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla to the remaining cream mixture and separate it equally into two pots. To one pot add ground and whole cinnamon and leave on low heat to infuse. To the second pot add the ground and whole cardamon and leave over low heat to infuse. Taste and adjust sugar if necessary.
Strain the cardamon cream and cinnamon cream each onto a separate metal bowls and place the bowls in a sink with a few inches of cold water to reduce the temperature of the cream. This is done so that, when the layer of cream is added to the chilled panacotta layer, the first layer doesn't melt. Once they are cooled, but not set (they can be a little warm, they just should not be hot), remove the bowls from the sink and set them aside until you need them.
Remove the loaf tin with the chilled, jelled tea layer from the fridge. Gently ladle the cinnamon cream over the jelled tea layer. Return the pan to the fridge to set. Once the cinnamon layer is set, pour a further third of the tea mixture over it and return the pan to the fridge to set. Once the most recent tea layer has jelled, pour the cardamon layer over and return the pan to the fridge to set. Once set, pour the remaining tea mixture over and return the pan to the fridge. Once the last layer is set, cover the whole pan with cling film and return it to the fridge until serving time.
To serve, remove the top clingfilm, place a serving plate upside down over the pan, and carefully, holding the plate and pan together, flip them over. the terrine should come out nicely on the plate. Remove the plastic film carefully and slice the terrine using a sharp knife dipped in a glass of hot water.