Panna cotta

Panna cotta or panacota is not a common dessert in Mexico, but it is just flavorless gelatin with milk or cream. In fact, the tru meaning of the name translated from italian is “cooked cream”. This dessert is typical of the Piamoente region in Italy, and it is quite like flan but with a more milky flavor to it, though the texture seems more like a gelatin of sorts.

I remember when I was a kid my mom used to make this milk gelatin with other flavor gelatin squares in it that she used to serve along with the birthday cake, and that was as close as I got to ever trying panacota.

Panna cotta has a nreutral milky flavor which is why it goes great with citrus jam for example, but I prefer it with some strawberry sauce, plus the colors remind me of the italian flag (green, white and red). The difference between a normal gelatin and panacota is panacota calls for vanilla bean seeds that result in an unmatched flavor and smell, it has nothing to do with the vanilla extract we all know and use.

This is one of my favorite desserts when I´m looking for something quick, light that looks straight out of a magazine or dessert recipe book, which by the way we really like the way this pictures turned out.

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One important thing about this recipe is you shouldn´t let the mixture boil, just let it cook slowly for a few minutes until it is all well integrated.

In this recipe we also have the ingredients and steps to make a yummy strawberry sauce, that you can also make with other fruits (mainly berries) that don´t have that much water. Nevertheless, you can omit this step or use some other topping if you want to.

It is the ideal dessert for a dinner party with many guests, and for when we want to give a good impression, because it is easy to make and serve, it is served in small vases or ramekins for individual portions and left in the fridge for a while, and then finally add some fruit on top. Plus this is a dessert pretty much everyone likes.

If you like this recipe you will love our strawberry mini pavlovas.

Pana cotta
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Cooling time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Servings: 8
Ingredients
For the panna cotta:
  • 3/4 C + 1 tbsp (6.7 oz) (200 ml) whipping cream
  • 3/4 C + 1 tbsp (6.7 oz) (200 ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 C (1.8 oz) (50 gr) white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp (0.20 oz) (5 gr) unflavored gelatine
  • 1 tbsp (0.50 fl oz) (15 ml) water cold
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise, and seeds scraped out (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
For the strawberry sauce:
  • 1 C strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 C (1.80 oz) (50 gr) white sugar brown
  • 2 tsp (0.40 oz) (10 ml) lemon juice
Instructions
For the panna cotta:
  1. In a small vase, combine the cold water and unflavored gelatin using a spoon and let it sit for 5 minutes.

  2. Place the whipping cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds and pod in a pot and bring to a simmer, cooking for 3 minutes, stiring non stop. Then remove the vanilla pod and discard. You should keep on stiring non-stop, as the milk and cream will burn and stick to the pot otherwise. Be sure not to let the mixture boil.

  3. Stir in the gelatin mixture and take off the heat. Keep stiring until the gelatin has dissolved.

  4. Divide the mixture among 4 vases or ramekins and put them the fridge to cool and sti for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the strawberry sauce:
  1. Cut the strawberries into chunks and place on a pan to medium heat, stir in the sugar and keep on stiring, mashing some more the strawberry chunks as you go. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the mixture os thicker.

  2. Add in the lemon juice and cook for one more minute, then take off the heat. Let it cool down completely, and serve along with the panna cotta.

Author: Andrea Gámez

Interior designer, Photographer, Food blogger and lover, painting entusiast and a sucker for art. / MEXICO

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