“So, there’s meant to be this really fun market nearby, my friends have been and they said it’s lots of fun…do you want to go with me tomorrow?”
I arched my eyebrow and looked at my mother rather suspiciously. “You do realize that tomorrow is Sunday, right? My cleaning & resting day?”
My mother flapped her hands at me. “I know that! But the market opens at 7:30am, so you only have to get up at 6:30am to get ready…and I promise it wouldn’t take too long…and you’ll have the rest of the day to do all the things you need to!”
The last time that my mother said that a market visit wouldn’t take too long, I ended up lightly thudding my forehead against a pillar at the springvale markets, 3 hours after arriving there and fighting for parking, while my mother tried to decide just which variety of sweet potato she wanted to buy.
You’d think that I would have learnt my lesson.
Being the dutiful daughter, I woke up at 6:30am on a Sunday morning in winter (a time of day that you really shouldn’t see on a Sunday – the only exception being if you haven’t actually had any sleep), rolled into the shower, back out again and then into some clothes. Finished getting ready 10 minutes early, I loped into the kitchen to fix myself some toast, when I noticed that the house was quiet. Too quiet. Which meant that my mother was still asleep.
I crept into her room and gave her a hard poke in the boob to wake her up, and scolded her for not being ready…however, to her credit, she was showered and decent by the time I finished munching on my charred bread and off we went to the markets.
Strike two against my mother – turns out that it was not a Farmer’s market, but a trash & treasure market. I had woken up at 6:30am on a SUNDAY to look over people’s second hand shit. Colour me unimpressed. In an attempt to make the best of the situation, I plastered on my ‘glowering’ look (to try and warn people against trying to interact with me) and shuffled about in the cold, foggy air, trying to feign interest as my mother looked over various pieces of bric-a-brac. Thankfully there were a few farmer’s food stalls that grabbed my interest, and even an apiarist (bee keeper, though he preferred the former term to the latter) who was selling slabs of honeycomb.
Oh, the honeycomb. It glowed golden even through the foggy air, and just looking at it made me imagine cutting a piece and having the warmth of my mouth melt the honey so it slid down my throat as I slowly chewed the waxy bits of honeycomb to extract every lick of sweetness.
As soon as we got back home, I unpacked my treasure and stared at it, wondering just how to show off its perfection…and after raiding the fridge and finding the ingredients for a panna cotta, I decided that a layered jelly topped with a piece of golden honeycomb would be perfect!
Milk & Honey Jelly
(Honey Jelly layered with vanilla panna cotta)
Vanilla panna cotta ingredients
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup double cream
2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod, split in half with seeds scraped into the milk)
2 tbsp honey
Honey jelly ingredients
1 2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup strongly flavoured honey (I used stringybark)
3 tsp powdered gelatin
Pieces of honeycomb (either the real beeswax stuff or the candy) to decorate
TIP: To make a vegan-friendly version of this dish, replace the milk with a rich, full-flavoured soy milk such as Bonsoy, and replace the cream with a vegetarian-friendly yoghurt. Also, you can replace the gelatin with Vege-gel, a vegetarian gelatin replacement.
1. Pour the water and honey into a pot, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb some of the water (this helps it dissolve faster and more evenly during cooking), then place on the stove over a low flame and stir constantly till it begins to come to a boil and the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Combine the milk, cream, vanilla and honey in a pot, then sprinkle over the gelatin and rest for 5 minutes. Place the pot on the stove over a low flame and stir constantly till the gelatin is dissolved and the milk mixture is beginning to boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Grab 4 glasses (whether tumblers or wine glasses, whatever you have handy) and then use HALF the honey mixture to pour into each glass (so in this first pour, they should receive 1/8 of the mixture each). Carefully transfer the glasses to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Even though the honey jelly and panna cotta should not set without being put in the fridge, give the mixtures in the pots a quick stir every 10-15minutes to prevent the gelatin from settling and the mixtures from forming a skin.
4. Once the first layer of honey jelly is set, pull out the glasses and carefully pour 1/8th of the panna cotta mixture into each glass, on top of the honey jelly. Carefully place back in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour to set, then repeat with the honey jelly, and then the panna cotta.
5. Just before serving, top each glass with a piece of honeycomb – and whether you use the real mccoy or the candy version is completely up to you
This recipe has been designed to be quite soft – it’s really not a jelly that you would want to unmould, as the jelly would most likely go a little flat. This was a deliberate move, as I wanted the entire dessert to be soft enough to melt away in your mouth without any chewing, so that the flavours were what you noticed and not the texture.
Also, whilst this does require the fridge to set, I recommend bringing it to room temperature before serving. This will allow the jelly to soften a bit more, plus if it is served cold, this will dull the beautiful flavour of your honey.
[tags]jelly, honey, pannacotta, dessert, cream, milk, dairy[/tags]
Others who have tried this recipe:
- Rina at Suitable For Consumption