Hope the new year has begun well for you. We were near Munich over the new year and went walking up Wallberg as the queue for the sleds and chairlifts was too long.
The collected snow between branches and twigs reminded me of the Malaysian ice-kacang, one of my favourite desserts.
The night before, we went with friends to the heart of Munich. I experienced for the first time the lighting of many, many fireworks by private individuals at Odeonplatz. It amazed me that people would spend so much on pyrotechnics. It was also a bit scary as 'rockets' whooshed past quite nearby, and there were lots of broken bottles in the
Marienplatz after the fireworks. 'Collective irresponsibility' I called it, as normally people would not break glass in the streets or leave so much litter for the street cleaners the next day.
Here's a toast to a year in which we achieve more than we felt we could. May your days be full of love, discernment and peace.
May everything you do and say be measured if not positively spontaneous. Be true to yourself!
P.S. There is still no snow on the ground in Cham, Switzerland, where we live. Is it going to snow in February or March?! It's six degrees Celsius today - so 'warm' for winter, no?
For lovers of Pannacotta, that smooth and creamy but not-so-calorie-laden Italian dessert, here's a recipe I adapted from German chef Schubeck:
400ml milk (can be low-fat)
4 leaves of gelatine
1 tsp of vanilla sugar with bits of real vanilla in it
4 tbs sugar
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Gently heat the milk with the vanilla and sugar till simmering. Remove from heat. Stir in the softened gelatine leaves till dissolved. Leave to cool.
Whip the cream till thick but not too stiff. When milk-gelatine mixture is cool and starting to gel, stir the whipped cream into it. Scoop into 6 bowls. Place in refrigerator to cool and completely gel for an hour or more.
Note: You can increase the milk amount by 80ml without adding more gel leaves. Lessen the sugar if you prefer Pannacotta less sweet.
For topping, choose your fav: caramelised sugar syrup, poached peaches, rhubarb in sweet ginger sauce, thawed blueberries or raspberries.
You can also vary the flavour of the Pannacotta. I've substituted the vanilla flavour with ginger, stirring in a packet of ginger tea granules. Adding half a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice would strengthen the 'heat' deliciously. This reminded me of my late mum's steamed egg custard flavoured with ginger. Mmm...