Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries

I love panna cotta. They're rich, creamy and oh-so-yummy. I have forgotten about this dessert until yesterday when I opened my refrigerator and found a box of whipping cream. Hmmm, what to make,I thought to myself. I was thinking of making cathedral windows but that's too much work because I had to make several batches of gelatin squares using different colors. Then I thought of panna cotta which is easy enough to make but really delish...

Panna cotta is Italian in origin. This dessert is made by mixing sugar, cream, milk, and unflavored gelatin which is allowed to cool until it is set. It can be topped with berries and different sauces (chocolate, wines, fruits) or flavored with different flavorings such as vanilla and cinnamon. In my opinion, the possibility for panna cotta flavors is endless and one is only limited by one's imagination.


Panna Cottta:
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberry
1 Tbssp sugar

1. Sprinkle gelatin over milk and let it soften for about 10 minutes
2. Heat a pan over medium low heat. Add cream and sugar. Simmer (do not boil) until sugar is dissolved, stirring occassionally.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and gelatin mixture. Mix until gelatin is dissolved completely.
4. Strain the panna cotta mixture and pour into ramekins. Let it cool before covering ramekins with plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
6. Topping: slice strawberries thinly and sprinkle sugar on top. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. To umold: place ramekins in warm water bath for about 30 secons to 1 minute. Remove from water bath and wipe the outside of ramekins dry. Invert into a serving dish. Top with macerated strawberries and serve.
NOTE: If you are having a hard time unmolding after placing ramekins in warm bath, run a thin knife on the insides of the ramekins to loosen panna cotta. You can also shake the ramekins a little bit while unmolding.

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