The espresso jelly, the second installment in my three-chapter love affair with jelly, is surprisingly good. It would also be good on its own, without the chocolate cream in the middle as a late-night, post dinner alternative to the traditional end of meal cup of coffee.
I moulded these panacottas using two different methods. I have described both methods below. Choose the one which best suits you.
Method one: I filled silicone muffin moulds with the coffee jelly leaving 1 cm space at the top. I put the partly filled moulds in the fridge to set. When they were set I used a melon baller, dunked in a glass of hot water, to scoop out the centres, being careful to leave at least 3/4 cm at the edges and at the bottom. I filled the hollowed out centres with chocolate cream and returned them to the fridge to set. I popped the scooped out jelly balls into the pot with the leftover coffee jelly for melting and use in the final fill. Once the chocolate cream had chilled and firmed up, I gently filled the remaining 1 cm of the muffin moulds with the remaining coffee jelly. The coffee jelly had set up a bit during the wait (and the scooped out bits were jelled to begin with) so I turned the element on under the pot just long enough to re-liquefy it, but not heat it.
Method two: For the jellies in the small glasses, I poured a layer of coffee jelly in the bottom third of the glass and then set it in the fridge, propped up at one end so that it would jell on a slant. Once it had set, I added some chocolate cream and let it set at a slant as well. Once the chocolate cream had set, I poured a final layer of coffee jelly and let it set in the fridge standing upright, rather than on an angle.
Of the two methods, I think I prefer the second over the first. The concept of the chocolate centres is nice, but much harder to execute and very easy to ruin the panacottas getting them out of the moulds. The slanted-glass presentation is much cleaner and easier to achieve. Although I added no gelatin to the chocolate cream used in the first method, I did add a little gelatin to the chocolate cream for the slanted-glass method. It is necessary in order to allow the chocolate cream to set firm enough. If you don't add the gelatin, I expect that, once you add the last layer of coffee jelly and set the glass upright in the fridge to set, the chocolate cream would slide out of formation.
Without further delay....
for the chocolate cream:
170 ml thick cream
25 ml milk
150 grams good quality dark chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
(if preparing in glasses as per the second method above, one envelope gelatin powder)
Warm the cream and chocolate and sugar in pot over medium-low heat. Stir until chocolate is all melted and the mixture forms a ganache. Add enough of the milk to thin the ganache to the consistency of a cream soup (when it is cool, it will be thicker). If you plan to prepare the jellies in glasses, add the gelatin powder and stir to dissolve.
For the coffee jelly:
2.5 cups very strong, dark roast coffee
1/3 cup sugar
1.5 envelopes gelatin powder
Heat the coffee on the stove in a pot, dissolve the sugar and gelatin powder in the hot coffee. Be careful not to allow the coffee to boil. Stir until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved.
Use a small ladle to fill moulds with the coffee jelly mixture and chocolate cream mixture in accordance with the instructions for the preparation method of your choice above.