Mint and chocolate panna cotta

I’ve always loved the After Eight cookies, deliciously filled with mint and covered with chocolate. I loved them to stomach ache, and I have never eaten them ever since.
But the contrast between mint and chocolate is one of my favourites, and I have baked in time several tarts combining these flavours.
Mint and chocolate are quintessentially British, together with beans on toast and cream and strawberries. I went to London a couple of years ago and I found it culinary wise more European than its government would wish it to. I wonder whether it’s like this everywhere in Britain, or if in Bournemouth (where I studied so long ago) they keep on having those terrible cucumber sandwiches.

Today I am preparing for you a dessert embodying mint and chocolate in full. The mint and chocolate panna cotta joins together Italy and Britain, and it’s a perfect combination for flavour and taste. It’s also quite easy to prepare, and as summer is quickly on its way, it’s good to have a great recipe for a dessert which is fresh and full of flavour and does not require the oven.

What’s better than that?

Ingredients.
500 ml fresh cream
70 ml mint syrup
70 gr dark chocolate
5 gelatine leaves
Mint to decorate (quite optional)

Preparation:

Soak two gelatine sheets in cold water for about 10 minutes.

Then, put in a non-stick pan 200 ml of the fresh cream and the chocolate cut in chunks. Heat the cream until it gets to the simmering point, then turn the heat off and keep on stirring until the chocolate melts. Then add the gelatine sheets, well wringed out, and stir again until they dissolve.

Pour the cream in even parts in the glasses, and put into the refrigerator for half an hour to consolidate.

After 30 minutes, soak the remaining 3 gelatine sheets in cold water for about 10 minutes.
Then put the remaining cream in the non-stick pan with the mint syrup and bring it to simmering point.
Then turn the heat off, add the gelatine sheets (remember to always wring them out) and dissolve them in the warm cream.

Take the glasses with the chocolate cream out from the fridge, pour onto the chocolate cream the mint cream and put them again into the fridge for at least 2 hours (three would be better).

Before serving, you can sprinkle on top some grated chocolate and a few mint leaves.

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