When it comes to choosing a dessert at a restaurant. I usually tend to pick the dessert I will not recreate in the kitchen. Panna Cotta used to be one of those elusive desserts that I assumed took lots of steps and ingredients. As Panna Cotta recipes started popping out of the foodie world, I was amazed by the simple ingredients. I think the ingredient that made me shy away from the recipe for so long was the gelatin. I must admit I still need to test the recipe to the texture I prefer, however for a first rendition it was acceptable. I adapted the recipe from Judie Witts Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen which was highlighted in David Lebovitz’s site. I used strawberry puree for a hint of strawberry, which made the Panna Cotta taste like strawberry milk. I have my local Asian grocery store selling strawberries for a $1.00 a pint. I absolutely love strawberry season. Any remaining strawberries I don’t use, I freeze to make delicious fruit smoothies.
3 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup (100g) sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 tablespoons (90ml) cold water
1 cup of strawberry puree
½ cup chopped strawberries
For the strawberry puree, place frozen or fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Sieve seeds.
For the Panna Cotta, 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. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the strawberry puree until well incorporated. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours. Top the Panna Cotta with chopped strawberries for garnish.