Chestnut Panna Cotta
1. For chestnut panna cotta, combine cream, milk, chestnut puree and scraped seeds from vanilla bean and bean in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
2. Soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 2-3 minutes or until soft, drain, then squeeze out excess water and add to milk mixture.
3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a jug, cool to room temperature, then divide among eight 125ml dariole moulds and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
4. Meanwhile, place sugar, wine, scraped vanilla bean seeds and bean, cinnamon, orange rind and 2 cups water in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and stand until completely cool.
5. Add pears to cooled syrup, cover with a round of baking paper and place a saucer on top to keep pears submerged during cooking, then bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.
6. Remove pan from heat, stand pears in liquid until tender, and cool to room temperature. Remove orange rind from poaching liquid, thinly slice, then place in a small saucepan with 1 cup poaching liquid and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until syrupy, then cool.
7. Dip panna cotta briefly in hot water, invert onto plates, then serve with Moscato-poached pears, a little syrup and candied orange peel, dusted with icing sugar.
Otto, 8 The Wharf, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo, NSW; (02) 9368 7488. Published in Gourmet Traveller March 2005.
This recipe was developed by James Kidman who until October 2009 was head chef at Otto Restaurant at Woolloomooloo in Sydney.