Martha Collison’s guide to making perfect possets

The Great British Bake Off's Martha Collison shares her recipe for the perfect posset read more

Dare it be mentioned, but this glorious summer of sunshine is steering towards its end. The picnic rugs, alfresco dining-ware and beach barbecues are packed away ready for the first hints of spring, but don’t despair! Bidding a fond farewell to summer means welcoming autumn with open arms, embracing chunky knits, nights snuggled by the fire and dinner parties, which leads me right into this recipe — how to make perfect possets.

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Posset isn’t a dessert we hear much about, but all that should soon change as it is the three things you need in a dinner party dessert; laughably simple, make-ahead AND elegant. I’ve been on the lookout for gorgeous saucer glasses for a while, so when I saw these Optic Pink Laura Ashley glasses I knew they’d be the perfect partner for this silky dessert. I’m a sucker for coloured glassware, and these are definitely my favourite new additions (I’ve got my eye on the matching champagne flutes and tumblers too!) Plus, I love the Geometric Gold Charger used in the image above — it will be perfect for entertaining.

The science behind posset is fascinating, as it is made essentially from just 3 ingredients; the juice of a citrus fruit, cream and sugar. It manages to gain the silky, luxurious texture of a more complex custard thickened by egg or corn flour in an entirely different, much simpler way. When you add acidic lemon juice to milk, it curdles, but cream has a far higher percentage of fat which limits its ability to follow suit. Instead of curdling, the acidified cream thickens and becomes silky and smooth. I’ve also added white chocolate to my posset as it’s creamy sweetness really lifts the sharp yet fragrant grapefruit to a new level. It’s rich and indulgent, but it’s for a special occasion and will have your guests falling in love with their dessert.

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Pink grapefruit and white chocolate posset

Makes 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pink grapefruit, juice and zest
½ a lemon
500ml double cream
150g caster sugar
100g white chocolate, chopped
White chocolate curls and grapefruit zest, to decorate

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  1. Method

Pop 6 shallow glasses (martini or saucer glasses work best for this) into the freezer to chill whilst you make the posset. You can use any style of glass for the recipe, but deeper glasses will take longer to set.

Pour the cream into a large saucepan and add the sugar. Heat on a low heat until the grains of sugar have dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. The boiling cream will double or triple in size, so make sure you’ve chosen a large enough saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped white chocolate.

When no lumps of chocolate remain, pour in the juice and zest of the grapefruit and lemon and mix throughly. The mixture will thicken and turn creamy as the acid is added to the milk. Divide the posset into the chilled glasses and place into the fridge for at least two hours to set. You don’t want to fill each glass to the top, as the dessert is very rich. They will keep for up to 3 days chilled. Decorate the top of each posset with white chocolate curls and grapefruit zest.

This recipe is from Crave, a baking book dedicated to satisfying your cravings with chapters ranging from citrus to chocolate to cheese. You can find it on Amazon or most good booksellers.

Have you tried making possets? We’d love to know what you thought of them. Let us know below or at @LauraAshleyUK

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