Panna Cotta - Three Simple Ingredients & Unlimited Possibilities
We are half way through the year and it's hard to believe. Each passing month seem like a blur the rush, the activities, the rat race its hard to take a pause and breathe and live the moment. As my parents would always say there is a time and place for everything and assure me that this phase in my life is when I should run and sprint and there will time later to soak in the efforts and relish the fruits of all the hard work. Glad that it's summer, a break from the routine and a chance to catch up on my blog.
During the last few months experimented with various cuisines , ingredients and cooking techniques have lots of posts in drafts. I find it hard to find words to blog, experiencing writers block I guess.
Coming to today's recipe it's one of the easiest and delicious dessert to make. Have eaten Panna Cotta numerous time but never realized how easy it was to make until last week. Was flipping through Cooking channels and saw the recipe. I knew I had to make it instantly and the fact that we were expecting friends for dinner was a perfect excuse.
Three ingredients suffice for the basic Panna Cotta recipe and you can customize your flavor with additional flavored sauces, toppings or flavoring. Below are my experiments with various flavors. Traditional Panna Cotta recipe uses heavy cream, I used whole milk instead and consistency was as good as heavy cream.
Basic Panna Cotta Recipe
Makes for about 6~8 serving
2 cups whole milk/Heavy cream
1 envelope of Gelatin ( You can use Agar Agar or other vegetarian options available)
1 cup sugar
Optionally for additional flavor you can use Vanilla, Lemon or other flavors. I used Vanilla in my recipe.
1. In heavy sauce pan add two cups of milk and boil in the lowest possible flame, taking care not to over heat
2. In a separate cup add one envelope of gelatin and cold water and allow for the gelatin to mix well
3. Now add gelatin and sugar into the milk and allow to boil on low flame for about 4~5 minutes till you see small bubbles form along the rim.
4. Remove from heat and pour into ramekins. You can also butter the ramekins in case if you would like to serve on plate.
5. Refrigerate for at least six hours and serve cold.
This can be prepared a day or two in advance.
Strawberry Compote Panna Cotta
Cut Strawberries into about half an inch cubes add some honey/sugar and lemon juice. Add a pinch of fresh mint and mix well. This can be made ahead and allow to marinate and allow Strawberries to soak in the flavor or made fresh. Top Panna Cotta with a scoop or two spoonfuls of Strawberries and serve cold.
Nectarine and Orange flavored Panna Cotta
Cut ripe Nectarine into tiny pieces, add about two cups of freshly squeezed Orange juice to Nectarines, add sugar/honey if required. Add Freshly chopped mint or basil to the Nectarines, mix well and serve on top of cold Panna Cotta. This is by far my favorite. With such beautiful fruit, ripe and juicy it's hard to go wrong with the topping. You can add Orange flower essence to milk while boiling to enhance and elevate the flavor even more.
Caramel Panna Cotta
Scoop couple of tablespoons of store brought Caramel on top of the Panna Cotta and allow to cool. Each spoon gives such contrasting and lovely texture of Panna Cotta.
Mango Panna Cotta
Fresh juicy and sweet Mangoes, technically you need nothing more but just to add an element of flavor add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger juice and toss in fresh mint. Now add this delicious topping to you Panna Cotta and wait to see your guests reactions, guaranteed to get ooohs and aaah's
As I said possibilities are endless and making with whole milk instead of whipping cream and addition of all these flavors enhances the taste without having to add a whole lot of sugar. And fact that this can be made ahead helps too. Make various topping and allow for your guests to choose their topping making it very engaging.
Have a happy and a safe summer !!!