Panna Cotta Diverse, Creative and Flavorful. Oh did I mention easy??

Panna Cotta Diverse, Creative and Flavorful. Oh did I mention easy??

How I love playing with Panna Cotta. Be it dessert or savory the versatility of panna cotta is simply amazing, inexpensive and fun to create with. It can be used in an hors ed’oeuvre, as a savory appetizer or to finish a meal off in the form of its original concept, a dessert.



This is a tuna skewer with a wasabi panna cotta form my cookbook, “Stick it, Spoon it, Put it in a Glass” Avaialable at . http://catersourcestore.miiduu.com/books/stick-it-spoon-it-put-it-in-a-glass

Panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It is generally from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, although it is eaten all over Italy, where it is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; sugar, later a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavoured with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled.

Here are a couple of recipes for you to play with.

Espresso Panna Cotta (in the above picture)
Ingredients
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup milk
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions
In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the cream, sugar, espresso powder and salt. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Pour into six dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
Refrigerate for at least 5 hours longer or until set.
. Yield: 6 servings.

Lychee Panna Cotta
1 can (14 oz) lychees in syrup
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar

Open the can of lychees and pour the lychees and syrup into a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. There will still be little bits of lychee flesh and pulp. Strain into a measuring cup until you get 1 cup of clear liquid.

Place 3 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit while you do the next step.

Combine lychee liquid, cream, milk, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and it just comes to a boil.

Remove lychee mixture from heat and add gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is fully melted and combined.

Divide mixture among glasses and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

Pomegranate Jelly
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar

Place 3 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit while you do the next step.
Combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat on medium, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Add gelatin and stir until it is fully melted and combined.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Pour pomegranate mixture over the panna cottas and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

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