This recipe is for a Marx Food Contest “Fire On Ice”. The challenge is to prepare a cold dish using chillies, Marx Foods sent a beautiful assortment of dried chillies, an exciting array of different types with varying degree’s of heat. I thought Ice cream, beverages, gazpacho but wanted to do something with chocolate that was cold but not frozen. Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts, cold and creamy a perfect summer dessert. I have some nice dark and milk chocolate so I thought I would make a duo of panna cotta using both types of chocolate and use different chillies for each. The milk chocolate is more delicate so I used cascabel chillies which are very mild and for the more assertive dark chocolate I used guajillo for a more intense flavor and heat. I garnished with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream sprinkled with a pinch of the chile powder that is used in each dessert. It’s cold, creamy and spicy and absolutely delicious. You can see the pieces of the chillies because I did a course grind, you get a little zing in each creamy bite and the flavor of the chile is front and center. Serve nicely chilled.
2 cascabel chillies
2 guajillo chillies
1 3/4 cup heavy cream divided
1 1/4 tsp powdered or granulated gelatin
2 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 oz good quality milk chocolate
1/1/2 oz good quality semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate
2 tsp ground guajillo chile powder (for dark chocolate)
2 1/2 tsp ground cascabel chile powder (for milk chocolate)
Heavy cream sweetened and whipped for garnish
Heat skillet until hot, add the whole chillies and pan roast to dry approx 7-8 minutes turning frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
When cooled remove stems and seeds and grind each chile separately into a powder. (NOTE: I did a more course grind I wanted small pieces of the chile so every spoonful is a surprise) Set aside.
Two 5 oz ramekins or four 3 oz ramekins, oiled or sprayed with neutral oil or cooking spray.
Chop chocolate and set aside.
in small ramekin or bowl pour in 1/4 cup heavy cream and add the gelatin. In larger bowl pour some very hot water (only a few inches). Place ramekin with cream and gelatin in the hot water and let sit. Meanwhile in medium saucepan pour in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, the sugar and salt and heat to boiling and immediately turn off the heat. Stir gelatin until dissolved in the cream. Divide the heated cream from the saucepan evenly into two bowls. Add the milk chocolate to one bowl and the dark to the other. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk to combine, the chocolate should be completely melted, divide the gelatin evenly between both bowls,and whisk to combine. Pour one of the bowls through a sieve into measuring cup with a spout so that it’s easier to pour into ramekins. (I used one measuring cup and did each separately), now stir in the chile powder the guajillo for the dark chocolate and the cascabel for the milk chocolate, pour into ramekin (s). Repeat with the second bowl.
Let come to room temperature then cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve set each ramekin in hot water for approximately 4-5 seconds. Run butter knife or small flexible offset spatula around the custard to loosen and invert onto serving plate. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream sprinkled with a little left over chile powder.