Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Panna Cotta

My boys LOVE dessert. Ok, ok, I love desserts, too. That's the best part of the meal in my opinion. :) I wanted an Italian dessert for my in-laws' 41st anniversary dinner and made panna cotta for the first time. The texture was definitely not like Trader Joe's Panna Cotta that my Mom always has in her freezer. Panna cotta is perfect for Son #2 because it's an egg-free treat that he can enjoy. I've been wanting to make it for quite some time so the anniversary dinner was my perfect opportunity.

I found a post for panna cotta but my first batch was super stiff. It wasn't the soft, creamy texture like TJ's panna cotta so I was determined to figure out how I could make it better. I had to try again! I found another recipe but that turned out too soft and fell apart when I took it out of the mold. I think I know how to make it perfect next time. Three's a charm, right? Will share when I do! 

This was as firm as a jello jiggler.
Topped with fresh strawberries, this was still yummy.
I only have Trader Joe's Panna Cotta to compare it to so maybe this is what "real" panna cotta is supposed to be like. I have no idea but we ate it up. Every last bite!

My second attempt was more like TJ's panna cotta except it was too soft and fell apart.
I topped it with homemade plum preserves. Yum!
I'll have to try it again to get the consistency right. :)

Panna Cotta...take 1

Yield: 4 servings (I got 6 in smaller "ramekins.")

  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
  • 1 oz Knox gelatin (this was way too stiff...I think I should've used 1 packet from the box of 4)
  • 2 tbs cold water
  • fresh strawberries, sliced and sugared
  1. In med. bowl, add cold water and sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside.
  2. Slice strawberries, add a sprinkle of sugar and set aside.
  3. Place cream and sugar into sauce pan over med. heat. Add vanilla and stir frequently.
  4. Prepare ramekins/custard cups. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Cook until it starts to boil and then remove from heat.
  6. Pour cream mixture over gelatin mixture. Stir gently till combined.
  7. Divide into prepared ramekins/cups. Place in fridge for 2 hrs or till firm.
  8. To serve, run butter knife around edge of cups and invert onto serving plate.
  9. Garnish with fresh fruit or topping of choice.
Source: Adapted from bell'alimento

Panna Cotta...take 2

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 tbs cold water
  • 1 tsp Knox gelatin (this didn't firm up the panna cotta...I should've used the entire packet)
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sour cream (I omitted because I only had fat-free and the recipe calls for full fat)
  • 1 tbs plum preserves, or topping of choice
  1. Place water in cup and sprinkle gelatin over water.
  2. In med. sauce pan over med. heat, warm half and half and milk with sugar and vanilla. Take off heat when it starts to boil.
  3. Pour over gelatin mixture and mix well till combined.
  4. Add sour cream and stir until smooth.
  5. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate 2 hrs or till firm.
  6. To serve, run butter knife around edge of cups and invert onto serving plate. 
  7. Garnish with fresh fruit or topping of choice.
Source: Adapted from Piece of Cake

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