I can’t quite remember what got me onto Panna Cotta, but somehow I wound up at David Lebovitz‘s Perfect Panna Cotta recipe. I’ve always been wary of Panna Cotta, I’m no longer sure why. Perhaps it’s the gelatin. It’s one of those ‘scary’ ingredients that are more lack of knowledge (see: reading the instructions) than monster-like ingredient. This recipe seemed simple enough, so I thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t quite read his recipe properly, so I halved it, thinking it would serve 2. It doesn’t, it serves four. Be indulgent, make it a double.
Warm the cream and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Get the gelatin ready (pour some powder over some water. REALLY difficult and scary)
Stir some vanilla pasta (or use the whole pod method).
Stir into the gelatin to dissolve it.
Then pour it into some cups to set.
Serve with any number of things. We chose Vino Cotto, you could use fresh berries, a berry coulis, red wine syrup, even a balsamic reduction with strawberries. You want something sharp to cut through the creaminess.
Doesn’t it just look delicious?
We couldn’t really wait to get into it.
Vanilla Panna Cotta
- 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 packets powdered gelatin (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
- Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan. 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.
- If you want to be able to turn it out, lightly oil eight custard cups, remakins or other glassware (ie, martini glass) with a flavourless oil like grapeseed oil. You can serve it in some nice glassware if you don’t want the hassle of having to turn it out (or if you don’t have a flavourless oil).
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. (If you do this straight after putting the cream and sugar on, by the time it’s warm enough, the gelatin will be ready)
- Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours, if you can give it some extra time, feel free. Of course, you can do this the day before an event as well.
- Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and serve as you like.
I will definitely be making this again and again!