I’ve been wanting to make Panna Cotta for a while and now that I know how easy it is, I’m not sure why it took me so long! In Italian, Panna Cotta means “Cooked Cream” and is basically a firm vanilla pudding. It takes only a few ingredients and one of the keys to the silky, firm texture is unflavored gelatin. (Gelatin isn’t something I’ve used very often but I’ve been trying to bake more and delve more into desserts for eyummykitchen.com and I’m liking the results so far). After a few minutes to dissolve the gelatin and sugar in warm milk, it’s done. Panna Cotta is wonderful on its own (and standing in front of the fridge eating it at 11 pm) but I made a simple berry sauce since I like the contrast of a topping with a little tartness to go with the Panna Cotta.
I love the idea of serving it in a small glass or jar so you can see the layers with the berry sauce but you can also put it in ramekins and then unmold it. If you go the ramekin route, I would spray the ramekins well with cooking spray and then run a warm pairing knife around the edges to get a clean release.
1 ½ c Whole milk
3 tsp Unflavored, powdered gelatin (I use Knox Gelatin)
1/3 c Sugar
1 ½ c Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract (Pure – don’t use imitation)
Place the milk in a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top (no heat). Let the gelatin soften for about five minutes. The gelatin will look like wrinkles on top of the milk. Set the pan over low heat and stir to dissolve the gelatin. Be sure to keep the heat on low as to not boil the milk. The milk doesn’t need to be hot, just warm, to dissolve. This should take about three – five minutes. Add the sugar to the milk and cook for another three – five minutes to ensure the sugar is dissolved, keeping the heat on a low and making sure not to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream and vanilla. Place the mixture in individual containers (glasses, small jars, ramekins, etc. – about a cup of the liquid) and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours to set, or overnight.
3 c Raspberries (I had some lonely strawberries in the fridge which I also included)
½ c Sugar
2 tsp Corn starch, dissolved in 2 tsp water
Bring the berries and sugar to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes until thick.
Drain the sauce in a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, making sure to push as much of the sauce through the strainer as possible to extract the sauce. (My husband actually likes the seeds so I left a couple in this time). Return the sauce to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the corn starch and mix until the sauce is thickened, about one minute. Place in the refrigerator until cool.