04 May 2012

Panna Cotta

In honor of integrating my food blog with my rest-of-my-life blog (and trying to un-alienate my devoted food blog readers) I am starting off this new experiment with food. What better way to start anything than with dessert?

I don't know if you'll remember many moons ago when I first made Panna Cotta, but I made it again. Actually, I've made it many times since then. This dessert is one that I absolutely love. In fact, I love it so much that I think I may even include the recipe for you (and you know how often I do that).

Because I love cool, creamy desserts so much, and because spring is finally coming to Massachusetts (not that we had a particularly harsh winter or anything, because we didn't) I've been craving this for a while. Unfortunately, for me this dessert is just too rich to eat more than one ramekin full of at a time and so it really works out better if I have other people to help me eat it. Luckily, one of my roommates invited the sister missionaries over for dinner one night last week and she was gracious enough to let me make dessert. VoilĂ ! four people with whom to share my dessert. I was feeling a little lazy so I didn't take the time to plate the panna cotta, but nobody seemed to mind. And this way I could let everyone help themselves to the mixed berry coulis that I made. By the way, if you ever find yourself with a package of very freezer burned frozen fruit, a coulis is a great way to revive it.

As promised, the recipe to make your very own panna cotta. This is super easy.
  • 1/3 cup milk (any kind works--actually I've only ever tried cow's milk, so I don't know how soy or other non-cow-milk would fare)
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I actually never put in more than about 1/3 of a cup, sometimes less--depends on how I'm feeling that day)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Pour milk into a small bowl, and stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the cream and sugar, and set over medium heat. Bring to a full boil, watching carefully, as the cream will quickly rise to the top of the pan. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into six individual ramekin dishes.
  3. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. When cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before serving. (from Allrecipes.com)
 You can also experiment with other flavors. The possibilities are endless. Also, you can put nearly anything on top. I ate one of my leftovers from this time around with chocolate ice cream topping and it was fabulous (think chocolate ice cream sundae, only gelatinous).

I hope you all love this as much as I do.

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