Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Traditional Italian Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce

Panna cotta is a creamy, delicate and lusciously smooth pure goodness. 
Chilled to perfection and served with a sweet and summery berry sauce.

Let's face it. It's summer and nobody wants to spend too much time in the kitchen baking and sweating next to a hot oven. But there is no reason to give up making amazing desserts just because of the weather. I am NOT going to ... no matter what the thermometer reads!
So this summer, when your sweet tooth is calling you, here is a great recipe to try.
Panna cotta is super easy and fast to whip up. It's a traditional, classic Italian dessert. And as the name suggests ("cooked cream") it just involves bringing to a slow boil a mixture of heavy cream, milk and a couple of other ingredients. No baking in the oven! But you will need to be a bit patient before tasting this dessert. It needs at least five hour (or overnight) in the refrigerator to set and chill.
Today's recipe is the most traditional panna cotta, with a delicate vanilla flavor. You can serve it like I did with berry sauce. Or with chocolate or caramel sauce. Also very delicious!
I just picked up some super sweet, organic strawberries at the market, and so, voila' ... strawberry sauce. A simple puree' of strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of lemon juice. And to decorate, more berries! Different color, of course. To make it prittyer and fruity-er.... The eye always wants its part!
You can change it up and make it fun. Use blueberries or raspberries. Or any combination of these. You will love it!



Ingredients: serving 4                   PRINTABLE RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup ( 60 ml ) of milk
  • 1 envelope (0.25 oz = 6 gr) of powder gelatin - unflavored (6 gr)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the sauce:

  • 8 oz (225 gr) of (organic) strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • other berries (blueberries, blackberries) for decoration

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 5 hours inactive
Directions:

1. In a small bowl, add the milk and sprinkle with the gelatin powder. Stir and let stand for about 5 minutes while you do the next steps.


2. In a large pan add the heavy cream, half cup of sugar and the vanilla extract. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Don't let the cream boil.As soon as the first bubble appears on the side, and it looks like it starts to boil, remove from the heat.


3. Stir in the gelatin mixture in the cream mixture, and whisk until blended.

4. Divide the cream evenly into 4 ramekins or cups. Cool to room temperature . Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate  for at least 5 hours or overnight.

5. Before serving prepare the strawberry sauce: puree the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice in a blender. You can eliminate the seeds, but passing the puree through a sieve. Or use it as is, like I did.


6. You can serve the panna cotta in the cups, or inverted into a plate.To do so,  place the cups into hot water (one at a time) for a few seconds. Run a knife around the edges and invert onto a serving plate.

Decorate with strawberry sauce and fresh berries.
Enjoy :)










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