Sunday, November 7, 2010
It's probably no surprise to you considering you look at my blog but I have been getting complaints from the family about making the same desserts all the time...cookies, cakes, cupcakes, etc. They wanted something different but of course they did not give me suggestions, I'm just suppose to read their mind. Anyways, I went on a European cruise this past summer and we had a great deal of delectable desserts on the cruise. Every night at dinner my family would tell me, "Why don't you make this?" Well, I decided to take them up on one of their offers by making panna cotta which was one of many dessert items that they enjoyed on the cruise. Panna cotta is a creamy dessert with a slightly gelatinous texture so it holds the shape of something that has gelatin but it is a lot softer and silkier than jello.
I think part of the reason why I stuck to my cookies and cakes was because I liked experimenting with different things to make it healthier or lower in fat. However, panna cotta is not one of those things that you can count in terms of calories because it is basically made of heavy whipping cream. Shh, I didn't tell the family!
Anyways, for the first time of making a dessert I have never had, I did a good job. Yes, that's right, I did not eat the panna cotta on the cruise because I was busy eating other things! Anyways, I have seen it numerous times of the Food Network or on Top Chef that I practically felt like I have had it before.
I like panna cotta because it is a super easy dessert and you can make it look fancy. Also, it is very versatile. You can use almond extract instead of vanilla or you can choose from a variety of toppings to to put onto of your dessert. Give it a try and everyone will think you are an amazing baker, I fooled my family a little!
compliments of Joy of Baking
1 package or 1/4 oz. unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold milk
2-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Grease 6 small custard cups or ramekins with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
2. Place gelatin and cold milk in a small bowl and let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Combine cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil, make sure powdered sugar is dissolved.
4. Once cream is hot, remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla. Stir until gelatin has completely dissolved. If necessary, return the saucepan to stove on low heat until there are no more gelatin lumps.
5. Pour mixture into prepared cups and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
To unmold: dip molds into hot water for a few seconds and invert onto dish. Serve with fresh berries or a fruit sauce. Strawberry and raspberry are popular toppings.