Monday, August 5, 2013

Panna Cotta

 Panna cotta means "cooked cream" in Italian. This delicious, lightly sweetened, dessert is served ideally with berries, either in a coulis or cooked, or - my favourite - fresh. And it's a new blog favourite.

I tried it first at the cottage in the Kawarthas a few weeks ago, with ramekins bought from this blog's favourite out-of-town gift store, Wellington Street Gift Store in Apsley. (They don't have a website). What are the chances I'd find eight small ramekins in cottage country? In that store, pretty good.

The recipe is taken from (my favourite on-line recipe resource).

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half cream
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used the seeds from a vanilla bean instead)

In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.

In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla (or, in my case, vanilla seeds). Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate. (I found it unnecessary to dip the ramekins in hot water).

This is an elegant, easy, prepare-ahead recipe that is perfect for those who don't have a very sweet tooth. I'm trying a cocoa flavoured version next. Watch this space!

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