Panna Cotta

I love Panna Cotta. This simple Italian dessert is just sweetened milk and cream thickened with gelatine. So, what is the big deal? Why do we like it so much?

First, don’t ever think simple dishes aren’t classic and tasty. Second, there is more to Panna Cotta than a pudding dessert.

A properly made Panna Cotta is jiggly like jelly but creamy like a pudding. Getting that exactly right makes a luscious rich dessert that feels as incredible in your mouth as it tastes.

If you follow a decent recipe without too much gelatine, the texture takes care of itself. The difficult part is serving it.

Typically, Panna Cotta is poured into small ramekins to set and then turned out on a plate. You can dip the ramekins in warm water and pull back on the edges with your fingertip and then turn it on a plate. It is a little tricky. My thought is, why bother?

I get around it by putting my Panna Cotta in a martini or wine glass to set. Then you can just serve it out of the glass.

Let’s make some Panna Cotta.

Put 175 ml (3/4 cup) milk in a saucepan. Sprinkle 9 ml (1 3/4 tsp) gelatine over the surface of the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

While it is sitting, put 5 ml (1 tsp) of vanilla in 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) whipping cream.

Put the saucepan over medium high heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Do not let it boil. You are looking to dissolve the gelatine in quite warm milk. If you have an instant read thermometer, you are looking for a temperature of 135 F (57 C).

Remove the pan from the heat and add 50 ml (1/4 cup) of sugar. Stir to dissolve.

Pour the whipping cream mixture into the milk and stir to mix.

Put the saucepan in an ice water bath and stir until the mixture is slightly thickened like heavy cream. You are looking for a temperature of 55 F (13 C) on an instant read thermometer. It took me about 5 minutes.

Divide the mixture between four martini or wine glasses. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight.

You can eat it plain and it is delicious and creamy.

It is also great topped with fruit compote, fresh berries, fruit syrup or liqueur.

The Verdict

Panna Cotta has a simple rich flavour and an incredible texture in your mouth. You need to try it!

The Old Fat Guy

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

Ingredients

  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 9 ml (1 3/4 tsp) gelatine
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
  • 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) whipping cream
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
  • ice water

Instructions

  1. Put 175 ml (3/4 cup) milk in a saucepan. Sprinkle 9 ml (1 3/4 tsp) gelatine over the surface of the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. While it is sitting, put 5 ml (1 tsp) of vanilla in 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) whipping cream.
  3. Put the saucepan over medium high heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Do not let it boil. You are looking to dissolve the gelatine in quite warm milk. If you have an instant read thermometer, you are looking for a temperature of 135 F (57 C).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add 50 ml (1/4 cup) of sugar. Stir to dissolve.
  5. Pour the whipping cream mixture into the milk and stir to mix.
  6. Put the saucepan in an ice water bath and stir until the mixture is slightly thickened like heavy cream. You are looking for a temperature of 55 F (13 C) on an instant read thermometer. It took me about 5 minutes.
  7. Divide the mixture between four martini or wine glasses. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight.
  8. You can eat it plain and it is delicious and creamy.
  9. It is also great topped with fruit compote, fresh berries, fruit syrup or liqueur.
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