Quick. Easy. Delicious.
As I discussed in my previous post, here is the recipe for a delicious panna cotta.
My first attempt at making panna cotta after returning from Italy was with blackberries. Above you will see I chose to use a lowball or rocks glass to set and serve. The recipe turned out perfectly, but in retrospect I found the portions may have been a bit too large. However, my guests did not complain. I even heard a mention of licking the glass clean. I was flattered, but in reality we are eating flavored cream and sugar. Smaller portions would be called for next time.
My next attempt, I utilized smaller dishes. I found prep bowls were just the right portion. You could also use small ramekins if you have them, whatever works for you. This recipe filled 8 small portions as you can see in the below pictures. I also chose to use raspberries this time. You can really use any berry that is in season, you can make it plain, or experiment at your own risk with other ingredients. Although I do not recommend snozzberries!
PANNA COTTA (Courtesy of Barbara Desderi with minor changes)
1/2 Vanilla Bean
2 cups Whipping Cream
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Gelatin
4oz Berries (Recommend strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries)
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Split the vanilla bean down one side. Scrape the beans out with the knife. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 1 cup of the cream, the sugar, the vanilla beans, the pod, and remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Add the gelatin to the hot cream and melt it. Pour the cream in a double boiler with ice and water until the gelatin starts thickening the cream. Mix the cream while adding the other cream. Place half of the fruit in the molds, then pour the cream mixture over the fruit to fill up the dish. Carefully place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set.
In the meantime, heat the other half of the fruit in a saucepan with the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Heat on medium while crushing the berries to break them down and create the sauce. Once all ingredients are incorporated the sauce is complete. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove any unwanted seeds which should create a smooth sauce. Set aside.
To serve, drizzle sauce over chilled panna cotta. Enjoy!
Note: In Italy we used sheet gelatin. If you are lucky to find it you need to soften it in water before you add to the hot cream mixture. My local grocery stores only carry powder, such as Knox.