A chronicle of my life in recipes. I love to cook, but more importantly I love to eat. The food you cook and eat tells a story of where you were raised and the path you have traveled. This is my story . . .

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

I recently came across this recipe for Panna Cotta and decided to give it a try. Beep always orders the light dessert at one of our neighborhood restaurants, so I thought, "why not make it for him at home?" Perfect for summer, this cool, creamy, much easier option to creme brulee is a joy to prepare. Quick and simple, no baking, it has become my new go to dessert. Just be sure to give yourself enough time for the chilling process, this is not a make at the last minute dessert. I was so pleased with the accuracy of the recipe, I wouldn't change a thing.

2 C Heavy cream
1 Vanilla bean
1/2 C Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 C Whole milk
1/2 C Whole milk Greek yogurt, I used 2% and it was fine
Sliced strawberries for garnish, I made a blueberry sauce, see recipe below

In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat, split the vanilla bean, scrapping the seeds, place the seeds and bean in the cream. Add the sugar to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and allow it to soften. When the cream reaches a simmer, remove the vanilla bean, turn off the heat and stir gelatin mixture into the hot cream until dissolved. Stir in the yogurt and pour into eight 4oz. ramekins. Place all ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
To serve, un-mold by dipping the bottom 3/4 of the ramekin in hot water and loosen with a knife. Invert onto a serving plate and garnish with your choice of berries, sauce or honey, whatever you like. Beep likes blueberry sauce with his, so that is why I chose to make it.

2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, I used a lime, it was what I had on hand.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Wash and crush blueberries with a fork; add sugar, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. In a small saucepan, bring blueberry mixture to a boil; boil 1 minute. Add vanilla. Chill. (I kept it at room temperature to serve with the panna cotta.) I also made half this recipe and it was just enough for the eight servings.
Serve over puddings, cake, or ice cream.

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