Star Anise Panna Cotta with Caramelised Pineapple

star anise panna cotta with caramelised pineapple

I love the changing of the seasons. Sydney does this time of year especially well – when the wind is warm, the air has a hint of jasmine flowers, the days get longer and the jacaranda trees are intense purple. Spring is always an incredibly inspiring time for me, a time when good things seem to happen. And so, I thought I’d make another one of these lists of my favourite things, moments and things to be grateful for. And if you haven’t ever made a gratitude list like this, I’d encourage you to do the same!

• fried chicken, gossip and bad TV with the girls • great coffee at Rose Bay Diner • buying myself flowers • making an epic birthday cake • eggplant, always • working on exciting new projects • editing photos with my new friend • impromptu lounge room dance parties • binge watching scary shows • spring cleaning and de-cluttering • green juice • laughing until my eyes water and my stomach hurts • homemade pickles – stay tuned! • postcards from Paris • spending lunch breaks away from my laptop • nostalgic snacks • writing lots of lists • typography inspiration • getting a cat this weekend! • homemade mac and cheese • the sunset that broke the internet • taking a break to play in the sunshine

star anise panna cotta with caramelised pineapple

Let me tell you, this recipe is good. It’s a simple creamy panna cotta infused with star anise and vanilla bean but it gets interesting with the spiced caramelised pineapple on top. The caramel sauce turns this dessert into something resembling a creme caramel, and the sweet golden pineapple is the perfect accompaniment.

The star anise is subtle all the way through even though it is used in both elements, but I actually preferred it this way over a strong aniseed taste. I’ve served it in cute little jars (I’m totally obsessed, I know) but you could also turn the panna cottas out of their ramekins and serve the caramel and pineapple alongside it as a plated dessert.

star anise panna cotta with caramelised pineapple

Star Anise Panna Cotta with Caramelised Pineapple
Serves 4

  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 200ml full cream milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • Half a pineapple, cut into small wedges with skin removed
  • 4 star anise, extra

For the panna cotta, place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan with the star anise. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 1 hour. Discard bean and star anise from cream mixture. Add sugar and return to a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over 2 tablespoons of water and allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk into cream mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture evenly into four ramekins or small jars. Refrigerate until set (at least 4 hours or overnight).

To make caramelised pineapple, place brown sugar into a frypan with rum and 1-2 tablespoons water and heat until sugar dissolves. Place star anise and pineapple pieces into the caramel and bring to the boil, turning pineapple often to ensure it is all evenly cooking. Cook for about 8 minutes or until pineapple is tender. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes.
Serve panna cotta with caramelised pineapple and sauce, with a star anise garnish.

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