vanilla panna cotta

Monday, January 20, 2014

When it comes to anything food-related, simple truly is best. While I'm someone that often gets sucked in by the plethora of new restaurants and food trends out there, usually the average non-foodie just won't get it, and only classic flavour combinations like strawberries and cream will do! I think that's why I like making vanilla panna cotta so much, since it's a definite crowd pleaser. Not to mention, it's satisfying and stupidly simple to make! While the recipe adapted from David Lebovitz calls for vanilla, that's probably changeable for experimentation. However, until I'm brave enough to try a new flavour combination I think I'll be sticking with this recipe in its purest form. Read on if you're interested in learning how to make it!

Ingredients (serves 8):
4 cups (1L) heavy cream
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons (90ml) cold water

1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil.
3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour the warm panna cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
5. Divide the panna cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them for 2-4 hours or until firm. If you’re pressed for time, pour the panna cotta mixture into wine goblets so you can serve them in the glasses, without unmolding.
6. To make macerated strawberries, chop strawberries and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, mix and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
7. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each panna cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.

To make panna cotta with sheet gelatin: Soften 25g (approximately six sheets) in a litre of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Wring the sheets out and stir them into the warm panna cotta mixture in step 4, until dissolved.

As you can see, panna cotta on a plate definitely has a little more panache! Although the recipe calls for using a knife around the edges, I found that running the outside of the glass under hot water is a lot neater, allowing it to slip right out. Either way, the result is a ridiculously creamy dessert that's bursting with vanilla goodness! Whilst you could also make strawberry coulis to accompany this, I find macerating strawberries a lot easier and necessary to cut through that creamy texture. Anyway, let me know if you happen to try this out, and have an awesome week!

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  1. I've only just discovered your blog Mani, and I love how adorable it is. I'm a firm new follower. I'm going to end up on a Pinterest rampage purely on all your food posts! xxx

  2. mmm that looks delicious!
    The recipe is not too difficult, so I'm definitely making this one next week :)

  3. I man I love panna cotta so so much! I agree that's really
    easy to make c: less is more! xx

  4. It looks so delicious! I haven't had any panna cotta dessert for ages.

  5. I love anything involving strawberries and these sound/look delicious. The finished result is so cute! :)

  6. It looks yummy, plus it looks adorable!!

  7. looks great - thanks for the recipe. i am always looking for new things to make for dessert!

    rae from love from berlin

  8. Thanks for posting this Mani, it looks absolutely delicious and easy for anyone to make at home :)

  9. I have just found your blog and I seriously love the quality of every post and picture.
    This looks so great, but I'm no cook, all I do in the kitchen is disasters!

  10. Panna cotta is honestly one of my favourite desserts - I love to make it with lychee granita and edible flowers on top for a gorgeous summer treat. :) Yours looks absolutely delectable!

    <3 Mandy xx

  11. that looks delicious! sometimes the simplest things really are the best, especially because the more practise you get at making something the better you'll get at it each time.

    little henry lee

  12. Looks so yummy!

  13. Zomg! It looks so delicious and photogenic to boot -- are those tiny black dots the vanilla bean? Gorgeous!


    1. Yes, they are! Ever since I started using vanilla bean I can't go back, haha :)