Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Berry Panna Cotta

This is a very easy recipe with beautiful (and tasty!) results. I love panna cotta, and recently encountered a Berry Panna Cotta in an Italian fusion restaurant which incorporated berries into the actual panna cotta, rather than just serving berries alongside the panna cotta. I thought this was very unique- and delicious- so I had to recreate it!

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 packets gelatin
5 T cold water

3 cups berries
1 T Chambord
1 T white sugar

(Makes 8-10 servings)

On medium heat, mix the heavy cream, milk, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir occasionally, making sure that all of the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture is very hot and steamy, add the vanilla.

While the cream mixture heats, add 5T cold water to the gelatin and let it sit while you start the berries.

Add the Chambord and sugar to the berries (I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes covered.

Once the berries are ready, strain 1/3 cup of the liquid from the berries and add it to the hot cream. This gives the panna cotta a subtle berry flavor and makes it a beautiful lavender color! You could add the whole fruit, but I think that panna cotta is best smooth and creamy. Chill the berry mixture to serve with the finished panna cotta.

Add the cream mixture to the gelatin and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

To finish the panna cotta, spray your ramekins lightly with a flavorless oil (it makes removing and plating the panna cotta much easier)

I very thinly sliced some strawberries and made a single layer on the tops of my panna cotta. The fresh strawberry is a tasty surprise! :)

Cover the panna cotta and place into the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours. They hold up very well, so this is a great dessert to make the day ahead.

To serve, run a thin blade around the edges of the ramekins and turn them over onto a plate (the strawberries will form a pretty base to the panna cotta). Serve with the cooled berry mixture and enjoy!

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