Panna cotta is a popular Italian dessert. The name literally translates to cooked cream. It’s one of the easiest desserts you could make and you can easily change up the flavours or accompaniments to suit your liking. This recipe is for the classic vanilla panna cotta which is a great place to start if you’ve never had this dessert before.
to me this dessert is like a cross between a jelly and a custard. The texture is similar to a thick custard, but the flavour is super creamy and decadent. Best of all, it requires a minimal amount of ingredients, and effort! What could be better than that!
Usually panna cotta is set in a mould and when you’re ready to serve you turn it upside down on a plate to release it. Honestly, I’ve never bothered with that! I just put my panna cotta in a glass, or jar or whatever container looks pretty. It’s so much easier and you don’t have to faff around trying to de-mould each panna cotta whilst praying it doesn’t collapse. Also this means you don’t need to grease your moulds either. See, I’m all about the quick and easy.
I decided to top my panna cotta with some raspberry coulis. You can use pretty much any fruit you like. I would opt for something tangy to cut through the rich panna cotta. Balsamic strawberries is a classic, but you could also try other berries or even a jelly of your choice. There’s also the lazy option of just eating it as is. Either way, it’s still enjoyable.
Vanilla Panna Cotta ( Adapted from HERE)
1.5 cups cream
1.5 cups whole milk (use all cream for a decadent version)
3 tsp gelatin
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pour the milk and cream into the saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over top. Let soften for 5 minutes or until the surface of the milk is wrinkled and the gelatin grains look like wet sand.
Turn the heat on the lowest setting and allow the gelatin to dissolve. Dissolve the gelatin over low heat: Set the saucepan over low heat and warm the milk gently, stirring or whisking frequently. The milk should never boil or simmer; if you see steam, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down. The milk should get hot, but not so hot that you can't leave your finger in the pot for a few seconds. The gelatin will dissolve quickly as the milk warms; it melts at body temperature so this step should go quickly.
Check to make sure the gelatin is dissolved: After about 2 minutes of warming, rub a bit of the milk between your fingers to make sure it's smooth. Or dip a spoon in the milk and check the back for distinct grains of gelatin.
Dissolve the sugar: Stir the sugar into the milk and continue warming until it dissolves as well. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes total to dissolve both the gelatin and sugar. Again, never let the mixture boil.
Whisk in the cream and flavorings: Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Pour into the ramekins and chill: Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared ramekins and put in the refrigerator to chill. If serving straight from the cups, without unmolding, chill for 1 to 2 hours. If you want to unmold the panna cotta, chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.