Chai Tea Panna Cotta with Cashew Brittle

Chai Tea Panna Cotta 01

If you’ve been coming here a while, you’ll probably know this about me – I ❤ panna cotta. It is the easiest dessert ever, and it’s also the most versatile with regards to flavours. You can add syrups, herbs, or infuse the cream with dried ingredients, like tea. I just went to my recipe page and counted 7 different versions of panna cotta that I’ve made over the last 4 years.

I had guests for dinner and had planned a menu with a touch of autumn to it, so looking for a dessert chai tea had exactly that touch for me. I also wanted to add something on top, and the idea of cashew brittle sounded appealing. Tasted very appealing, too, both the panna cotta and the cashew brittle. I love it when I have great ideas and they turn into a great dish 😀 .

Chai Tea Panna Cotta 02

Black tea can easily turn bitter if steeped too long, so I made sure not to infuse the cream with the chai tea for more than 1½ hours. The sugar in the panna cotta is a good counterpart to the black tea, though, so in case of over-infusing the cream it could be saved by increasing the amount of sugar. Only 4 ingredients, and such a great dessert – amazing how you can get such a *wow* result with so little effort.

Chai Tea Panna Cotta 03

As you know, Christmas will be upon us faster than you can say mulled wine. This dessert is on my “to make” list for this year’s Christmas dinner. It can easily be made ahead, in fact, I always make it the night before I plan to serve it. The brittle can be made the next morning, it doesn’t take long to harden.

No matter whether you serve it in jam jars like I did here or fancy moulds, it looks elegant, tastes elegant (if there is such a thing) and I’m sure will be a winner with your guests as well.

Chai Tea Panna Cotta 04

Because I didn’t take pictures of this panna cotta the day I made it for my guests, I made it again last week. For my guests I used proper moulds and got 4 servings out of it. For this version I made smaller servings to take to work and got 7 servings out of the 500 ml.

For the brittle, as I was experimenting, I broke apart about a handful of cashews and melted approximately 150 g of sugar.

Chai Tea Panna Cotta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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500 ml cream
2.5 tbsp loose chai tea
50 g sugar
3 gelatine leaves [total of approx 1 g]
raw cane sugar
cashew nuts

For the panna cotta, put the loose tea in a disposable tea bag, tie with a knot, place in a pot together with the cream and heat slowly. Do not bring to a boil! As soon as tiny bubbles form on top of the cream, take off the heat and let cool for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Before reheating the cream, soak gelatine leaves in cold water. Remove the tea bag from the cream [ignore the skin that has formed, you’ll stir it away later] and squeeze the cream from the tea bag, either with your hand wearing rubber gloves or pressing the tea bag between two tablespoons. [Be careful the tea bag doesn’t split open, otherwise you’ll have bits swimming in your cream.]

Add sugar to the cream and reheat until it starts to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze water from the soaking gelatine, then quickly stir it into the cream with a balloon whisk. Pour into moulds or little jars and refrigerate until set – approx. 4 hours – or overnight.

For the cashew brittle, break apart a handful of cashew nuts and spread in a circle on a baking sheet.

In a small non-stick pan, heat the cane sugar very slowly, i.e. on low heat, until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. This will take a while – do not stir and do not let it burn. Once the sugar has dissolved completely and the mass is liquid, carefully but quickly – it’s hot but will harden almost immediately – pour it over the cashews. Let harden completely, then break apart before use and decorate the panna cotta with pieces of brittle.

Chai Tea Panna Cotta 05