Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Panna Cotta

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
To me, this Italian dessert is Italy's version of flan. However, one advantage of this dessert is that it is a lot easier to make compared to traditional custard desserts. The secret ingredient is basically the gelatin added to the cooked cream. This eliminates the long cooking process over a steamer or a water bath and yet you end up with an elegant dessert that is quite sinful in its simplicity. There are numerous version of panna cotta but I'll stick to Michael Chiarello's version that is flavored with honey. One word of caution, go easy on the honey. I once made it with too much honey and I ended up with an overly sweet dessert. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is not always good for you.

Panna Cotta - Adapted*

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
3 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 tsp gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey per serving

1. Heat the cream with 
    the sugar over low 
    heat and bring to a 
    simmer. In the 
    meantime, drizzle 2 
    tbsp of honey per 
    ramekin and spread it 
    around until it you get 
    an even coating. Set aside in the fridge. 

2. In a bowl, mix the vanilla with the gelatin. Add about a cup of the heated 
    cream and mix well. Return mixture to the pot and combine with the rest 
    of the cream. 

3. Stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Through a strainer, carefully 
    pour the warm cream over the honey-coated ramekin. Cool for at least 4 
    hours in the fridge.

4. To serve, dip the ramekin in warm water for about 10 seconds and 
    loosen the sides with a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Invert onto a 
    plate and serve as is or garnished with fresh berries or chopped toasted 
    almonds or hazelnuts. 

*Food Network Channel, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello: My first Dinner Party episode

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