Enjoy Lychee Panna Cotta during a snowy winter

Hello and welcome! I'm back. I spent wonderful three weeks in Prague with my family and friends. I really looked forward to be back home though. I sometimes tell myself I'm too old for this. Ha ha, I know what you are thinking now. But three weeks of a "nomadic life" are quite tiring. I was dreaming about my own bed.
Luckily the weather was merciful to us once again and we arrived on time to London. Which was kind of a reward for a canceled flight and 10 hours delay on the way to Prague before Christmas.

I'm not a fun of New Year's resolutions. I don't think that just the fact that a new year starts will bring me more strength or will. So I don't make New Year's resolution. Full stop! However I promised myself (unofficially, psst!) I would try to become more organised in 2010. And my main aim is of course to improve my food styling and photography. So much for the New Year's resolutions. Do you make any? :)

Prague is a wonderful and beautiful city but I can say I missed London. So at the weekend P and I decided to go for a walk to say hello to London. We had been really amazed right after our arrival by the quantity of snow in London. It looked like a winter wonderland everywhere.

We headed for Greenwich. I love the Greenwich park. And it looked even prettier covered in white snow. I did not have many opportunities to take pictures in Prague so I had to take my camera with me to satisfy my photography desire. Lucky me! Snowy Greenwich was very photogenic!

As we reached the Royal Observatory a very amusing scenery revealed in front of us. People of all ages took advantage of a snow covered hill to slide down on all kinds of sledges, plastic bags or even surfboards. I was tempted to slide down myself! ;)

Then it started to snow again and it was time to go home. I had a craving for something sweet. We stopped by the market on our way home and bought about 1kg of lychees. I have been wanting to make a panna cotta for a while. I was thinking, why not to combine both. It was a very good idea. Scrumptious! White like a snow with an exotic taste of lychee and coconut. Yummy. I might just substitute a coconut milk for more double cream and a yogurt next time as P. didn't like the coconut taste that much. I did like it as it was!

While sitting calmly and enjoying the lychee panna cotta I was thinking about last days in Prague. We had been very busy, though not that much as our best friends who had welcomed their first son just 2 days before the New Year! We visited a little O. in a hospital just one day after he had been born. I can say the baby was best Christmas present for our friends. We shared their joy and happiness. Beautiful moments indeed. I want to wish all the best to a little O. and his parents!

Lychee Panna Cotta
Serves 4

285ml double cream
215ml coconut milk
50g sugar
1tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
200g fresh lychees, pureed
1tsp vanilla extract
4 leaves of gelatine

8 fresh lychees, to serve
4 fresh strawberries, to serve (optional)
pistachios nuts, to server (optional)

1. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften (about 10 minutes).

2. In a saucepan heat the double cream, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla and ginger. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes but do not really boil.

3. Take the cream mixture of the heat and add the pureed lychees. Add the gelatine leaves and stir until dissolved.

4. Leave the cream to cool and pour into prepared cups.

5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

6. To server panna cotta place the cup in hot water for a while and then put it on plate. Garnish with fresh lychees, strawberry and pistachios.