Chocolate panna cotta with oranges

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Indy Lifestyle Online

This recipe uses cocoa powder, something you graduated on to from Horlicks, and which once seemed a grown-up bedtime drink to be had from a mug in your dressing gown and slippers. It always used to be Cadbury Bourneville Cocoa, but now there are many others, like Green & Black's Organic Cocoa.

200ml milk
6tbsp cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
600ml double cream
3 leaves of gelatine

for the sauce

2 oranges
70g caster sugar
1tsp cornflour

Put the milk, cocoa powder and sugar into a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring with a whisk until the cocoa and sugar have completely dissolved.

Meanwhile soak the gelatine in cold water for 2-3 minutes until it softens, then squeeze out the water and stir into the hot milk mixture until it dissolves. Leave to cool a little and whisk in the double cream. Pour into moulds or cups; it should make 4 large or 6 small servings. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until the panna cottas are set.

This gives you plenty of time to make the sauce: peel the zest of one orange using a vegetable peeler and shred it as finely as you can. There is a special zesting tool you can buy for this job. Squeeze the juice from both the oranges and strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the sugar and zest, bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by half. Dilute the cornflour in a little water, stir into the orange juice and simmer for another minute until it thickens, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

To turn out the panna cottas, dip them briefly in boiling water and turn out into your hand then on to plates and spoon the sauce around.