For the panna cotta
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped and pod reserved
70g Brunost cheese, thinly sliced
3 sheets gelatin
200g muscavado sugar
2 pears, cubed
- Pour cream and sugar in a saucepan and gently heat. Add the vanilla pod and the innards, stirring with a wooden spoon. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes then add the slices of Brunost to the mixture. The cheese will begin to melt fairly quickly. Simmer mixture for another 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the Brunost has melted completely.
- Soak the gelatin in a bowl filled with cold water for 5 minutes. In the meantime prepare your dessert glasses or bowls.
- Take the saucepan off the heat, remove the vanilla pod and stir in the soft gelatin into the mixture.
- Pour the brunost-vanilla-cream mixture through a fine meshed strainer into a jug (this helps for easy and clean pouring in the dessert glasses), then carefully pour equal amounts of liquid in each dessert glass.
- Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- To make the sticky toffee pears, place sugar and butter in a saucepan and over a low heat, simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook until the sauce takes on a lovely toffee color. Add the pear cubes and allow them to soften – about 2-3 minutes in the toffee sauce. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- To serve, pour 2-3 tablespoons of the sticky toffee pears over the panna cotta. I added a few cubes of fresh pears over this, which gives it a slight crunch and an additional fruity taste, however this is entirely optional.
Meeta’s Tip: I understand that Brunost is not available everywhere, so if you are having trouble finding the cheese then try this other twist – add 2-3 tablespoons of dulce de leche and a pinch of fleur de sel to the cream mixture. While the flavor will be different to this Brunost Panna Cotta you’ll be a step closer to a very divine dessert!