Panna cotta (cooked cream) is a softly set pudding made of cream, sugar, and gelatin. There’s a lot of variations; it can be a lighter and softer pudding by using milk or super rich and thick with heavy cream. Adapted panna cotta recipe and info from The Kitchn.
It’s an easy and beautiful dessert: just pour and set, but you can get all fancy with layers.
I had some peaches and wanted to experiment with interesting combinations – I mixed it with chamomile and honey to make the gelee. B and my sister thought it was a weird combo when I first told them, but I liked it. You can’t go wrong with fruit and tea as a refreshing combo!
To make the angled look, I just filled the glasses halfway with cream and precariously balanced the glasses in an empty egg carton in the fridge until set. Then I straighten it and add the remaining layer.
It took a lot of extra effort and time since I ran out of gelatin halfway, so the cream part didn’t quite set as much as I wanted. But it still looked ok with help from the freezer (by the way, you should not actually freezing panna cotta since its texture becomes icy)
– Let gelatin sit for a few minutes in liquid so it “blooms” — the gelatin grains swell and absorb liquid.
– Add gelatin to a warm base (if added to a cold base, it may set too quickly and not disperse evenly – hence gelatin chunks)
– The gelatin will set quickly; if it’s set too early for you, just heat it up gently (it won’t damage its ability to solidify)
– It’s best to add the gelatin as one of the very last steps in cooking
– The strength depends on how long, how cold, and how much gelatin powder you add
Fun fact: Panna cotta originated in Northern Italy, where the earliest recipes mention simmering the cream with fish bones (the collagen would set the cream). Yummy!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons gelatin, bloomed
1 1/2 cups cream (any combination of heavy cream / half and half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strong chamomile tea
1 cup peaches, pureed
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons gelatin powder
Let the gelatin sit in a few tablespoons of water for about 1 to 2 minutes until it “blooms.” Heat the milk, cream, and sugar til it just barely boils. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves (don’t boil it).
Whisk in the cream and any flavorings, like vanilla. Pour into container. Refrigerate until set (to make it set an angle, lean glasses in a egg carton).
Bloom gelatin. Combine chamomile tea, peaches, and honey in a blender. Microwave your puree til hot, then add gelatin so it dissolves evenly. Let it chill then add to set panna cotta (you don’t want it to set but you also don’t want want it to melt your panna cotta). Refrigerate until set.