Thursday, June 24, 2010

Panna Cotta

John has had a lot more experience with French food than I have since we've lived here and every once in a while he comes home and says, "You need to try to make this." A few weeks ago, he came home talking about this dessert that he had at work called Panna Cotta. (Ok, so it's not French, it's Italian, but Nice used to be part of Italy..) I looked for a recipe, found one, and made it. I might add, I really had no idea what this was supposed to look, taste, or act like. John was the judge. He judged- ok, but too sweet. So, I made it again with less sugar. He judged- just right. I like the first one best so you can decide for yourself! 

Panna Cotta is a great, light, melt in your mouth dessert. It is one of those things that looks so fancy and difficult but takes about 15 minutes to make and with very little effort. I highly recommend it.
Care for a taste? yummm!

Panna Cotta
- 1 C (250ml) whipping cream
- 1 C (250ml) milk
- 1/4 C (50g) sugar (for the less- sugar version, subtract a tablespoon of sugar)
- 2 1/2 sheets of gelatin, about 5 grams; see instructions
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste (for the less sugar version, only use 1 tbls of Vanilla)

Combine all the panna cotta ingredients (See instructions below for the gelatin) in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring from time to time (do not let it boil). Let cool for five minutes. Rinse four half-cup ramekins or bowls quickly under cold water, do not dry (this will help unmold them if you choose to), and distribute the panna cotta mixture evenly among them. Keep in the refrigerator until firm, about three hours or overnight.

Important note: Do not combine the gelatin with the rest of the ingredients. Instead, soak the sheets in a bowl of cold water while you bring the other ingredients to a simmer, then squeeze with your hands to drain (they will be soft), and whisk into the (hot but not boiling) panna cotta mixture to dissolve before pouring into the ramekins. 

Note: This is recommended to be served with a Strawberry Coulis. (Fancy way of saying Strawberry sauce.) Just cook down some strawberries with sugar, to your taste, and when they have cooled, throw them in the food processor, blend until smooth, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Pour a little bit of the coulis on top of the panna cotta before serving. 

Enjoy guys! Happy Thursday! 
Recipe adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini.


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