I am a big fan of matching food/desserts with beer. My girlfriend loves panna cotta, and we both love Kriek, so I thought why not tweak my panna cotta recipe a bit so that it matches Kriek? I’ll provide you with the recipe along with some pictures first, and then some tasting notes when matching it with 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek and Timmermans Kriek (click the links for reviews of the beers).
First, the recipe:
- 6 gelatin sheets (soaked some minutes before putting them in)
- 1 whole dried vanilla fruit
- 3½ dl heavy whipping cream (38% fat)
- 4dl milk (3,9% fat)
- 100g sugar
The above part is a standard panna cotta recipe (which is a very good dessert in itself). Two more ingredients will be used this time around:
- 8 table spoons of cherry sauce
- 10 drops of almond essence
To make the cherry sauce I put frozen cherries in the kettle (couldn’t get any fresh ones), warmed them up and mashed them as much as possible. Then I separated the sauce from the meat through a sieve.
Put all ingredients (except the vanilla) in a kettle and mix them good. Slice the vanilla fruit in half and scrape out all the seeds and mix them with the rest. You can put the vanilla fruit in the kettle as well if you want.
Bring the liquid to a boil, remove the kettle from the stove, remove the vanilla fruit if you decided to put it in, and mix in the soaked gelatin sheets. I squeezed all the water from the sheets before I put them in. Stir good so the sheets dissolve.
Pour the liquid into 6 equally sized cups or glasses and let them cool until they are read to be served. I put mine in the fridge after a while and left them there for some hours. It might be a good idea to let them stay on the counter for some time so you can keep stirring once in a while. If you put them directly in the fridge the cherry sauce might fall to the bottom resulting in a rather funny looking panna cotta with cherry jelly in the bottom of the glass.
And now, to the fun part: the Kriek matching (and eating of the panna cottas of course).
First we tried 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek which did not match at all. The amount of cherry sauce I put in the panna cottas was not nearly enough to match the sourness of this beer. The almond essence was also a bit too much compared to the beer.
The other one, Timmermans Kriek, on the other hand was a perfect match! The almonds hints from the aroma and flavor of this Kriek was just about right, and since Timmermans Kriek is not that sour it worked well with the cherry taste from the panna cotta. And there you have it! At least one of the beers matched… not bad at all!
I’m not sure I’ll do this again though. Regular panna cotta is very good, and I just might have to find some other beer to drink with it. It was a fun experiment though. I got to drink a couple of good Krieks and eat some good panna cotta with my lovely girlfriend!
If you decide to try this out please leave a comment on how it went. If you have some other suggestions for matching food/desserts with beer, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.