Panna cotta, which in Italian means ‘cooked cream’ is a perfect example to illustrate why the simpler, the better. This is a classic Italian dessert so smooth and creamy that is makes the ideal ending for any meal.
I love panna cotta with strawberry coulis, but it’s just as good with any kind of fresh berries: the acid of the fruits pairs impeccably with the silkiness of the cream and the contrast between flavor and color is just wonderful! You can also combine fresh strawberries and mangoes and add a sprig of mint. Italians eat it with chocolate sauce too and sometimes I just enjoy it plain.
A good idea is to prepare the custard the day before so it can be overnight in the refrigerator, but if you’re craving it like I was this morning, just refrigerate it for four hours et voila!
Panna Cotta | Ingredients for 4 portions
2 ½ cups of heavy cream
4 tbs of sugar or Splenda
½ cup of milk
2 tsp of unflavored gelatin
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Dissolve the gelatin in the milk and let it stand for at least 2 minutes.
Pour the cream in a saucepan with the sugar and cook it on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved and tiny little bubbles begin to appear on the pan edges.
Turn off the heat, add the milk and gelatin mix and stir until you get a creamy mixture.
Add the vanilla and stir.
Split the mixture into four ramekins or, as I did, in martini glasses.
Cover the glasses and refrigerate the panna cotta for at least four hours.
Serve with fruit coulis, or the fruit or both and enjoy it!