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Lunch With The Girls

Even though this is usually an informal affair you can still make the table look pretty.  The mauve charges and glasses are from a mauve and turquoise colour scheme that I used one year at Christmas.  Together with a mauve tree, turquoise decorations and a giant martini glass filled with co-ordinating baubles as a table centre!  Needless to say I reverted to the traditional reds the following year.

As you can see from the cutlery layout a lunch for the girls wouldn’t be complete without a dessert even though we are all usually on a diet!

Lunch with the Girls

Talking of desserts, this recipe is the best panne cotta I have tasted.  Its taken from a cookery book by Jenny Chandler called The Food of Northern Spain and the recipe is called Mus de Yogur con Arandanos Pacharan translated meaning Yoghurt mousse with Bilberries and Pacharan.

Serves 4 For the mousse

  • Vanilla pod.
  • 10 fl oz double cream.
  • Tbsp caster sugar.
  • 10 fl oz natural yoghurt.
  • 3 sheets of leaf gelatine.

For the boozy alcoholic fruit ...

  • 5 oz of bilberries or blueberries or strawberries

  • 100ml of pacharan or sloe gin or at a push crème de cassis.

Slice the vanilla pod lengthways to reveal the seeds.  Place the pod in a saucepan with the cream and sugar and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Next scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod into the cream and stir.

Meanwhile, place the sheets of leaf gelatine in a bowl and add just enough cold water to cover.  Leave to soak until soft, then squeeze out the excess water.

Add the gelatine to the hot vanilla cream (you may need to reheat it a little if it has been standing for a while) and stir around until it has completely dissolved. Add the yoghurt and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed in.   Pour the mixture into 6 small moulds, teacups or ramekins will do, but individual metal pudding moulds are by far the easiest for turning out the mousse.

Leave the mousse to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until set.

While the mousse is chilling make the delicious berry accompaniment.  Place the berries and alcohol in a small saucepan and leave to boil for a moment, just enough to boil off the alcohol and allow the berries to plump up.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse until you are ready to serve.   When ready to serve, dip the moulds into hot water until the mousse just softens at the edges, then turn the mould out on to serving plates and surround with berries.

The best Panacota recipe ever!!!!!