I LOVE dessert! I love sweets, mostly chocolate ones, but all sweets are a delight. I especially have a fondness for the creamy, custard-like, smooth as silk wonderment that is Panna Cotta; an easy, yet elegant dessert. I enjoy cooking and making people feel special because I cooked for them. I am especially fond of this recipe. I have been making Panna Cotta for years, but decided to try this recipe I found at David Lebovitz’s blog. If you enjoy cooking, good cooking, you really MUST check it out!
The recipe is simple:
4 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons cold water
1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil.
3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours but I let them stand at least four hours. If you’re pressed for time, pour the Panna Cotta mixture into wine goblets so you can serve them in the glasses, without unmolding.
6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.
Personally, while I like lemon toppings, I really like this Red Wine Sauce, also from David Lebovitz’s blog.
Red Wine Syrup Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
3 tablespoons (50g) sugar
1/2 to 1 small basket of strawberries (about 4 ounces, 100g)
1. In a non-reactive skillet, cook the red wine and sugar until the bubbles get thick. Once the syrup is reduced to half its original quantity (1/4 cup), remove from heat and scrape into a bowl to cool completely.
2. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries. Toss in syrup, let stand for a minute to two, then spoon onto custards.
Try it yourself and see! in the meantime, visit MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop for some ideas of your own!