Panna Cotta

Panna cotta, a molded chilled dessert popular throughout Italy, is easy, quick, foolproof and accommodating to many adjustments. This is a gluten-free and adaptable to dairy-free and vegan diets. This dessert is made with very few ingredients and can be prepared in advance. Panna Cotta looks and tastes wonderful with ripe fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, or sweet cherries and also mangoes.

Heat heavy cream and milk and add vanilla, sugar and agar agar.. that’s it… really it’s that simple!!. You can make the variations with garnishing. I used agar agar instead of gelatin since agar agar is a vegetarian option. If you wish to use gelatin, you may have to refer to the measurements for that.

What Is Panna Cotta?

Panna cotta is a very basic pudding/custard that is made of dairy thickened with gelatin or agar agar. It originated in Italy and the name Panna Cotta means “cooked cream”.

You can eat it straight out of a cup, but it’s often unmolded onto a plate and drizzled with sweet sauce and garnished with fruit. Panna cotta is remarkably creamy, melting in the mouth. You can also use half-and-half milk.

Milk, cream, and alternatives: You can use any combination of milk, cream, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk — any creamy liquid — to make panna cotta. But the less fat in the panna cotta, the softer it will be.

You may also substitute vanilla essence with almond extract or chocolate. Just a few ideas — the possibilities are endless!

Few Ideas to enjoy Panna Cotta: Panna cotta is such an easy dessert to make, and finishing it off can be very simple too. Here are a few ideas you may like to savor with.

  • Garnish with fresh fruit.
  • Drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce.
  • Warm some raspberry or strawberry or cherry or mango jam and drizzle over top.
  • Sprinkle chopped nuts or grated chocolate on top.

This recipe is my own version of a panna cotta. 

Other Italian Cuisine Recipes:

Step by step photo instructions

Preparing Panna Cotta

  1. Heat 1/4 cup hot water in a small cup or a pan, add 1/2 tsp agar agar powder. Mix well and keep aside for a few mins.

2. Pour the milk and heavy cream into the sauce pan, then add 2 tbsp sugar. Stir well.

3. Set the saucepan over low heat and heat the milk gently, stirring or whisking frequently. The milk should never boil.

4. When the milk is heated(before it starts boiling), add 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix. Keep this sauce pan aside for a min.

5. Place the agar agar pan on the stove and heat agar agar water till you see the bubbles in the water.

6. Pour this agar agar water in the cream pan, mix well and let it cool.

7. Pour cooled cream in ramekins or small cups and refrigerate 3-4 hrs or till it sets.

Fruit for garnishing

Macerating Strawberries:

Place thinly sliced 8-9 strawberries in a bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar. Mix well and keep aside on a counter or refrigerate.

Strawberry sauce

  • Place 8-9 cubed strawberries in a sauce pan, add 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp sugar. Bring it to boil. Boil for 2-3 mins or until strawberries turns soft. Let them cool.
  • Transfer cooled strawberries in a blender or processor, grind them to a smooth paste.
  • Filter to separate sauce from pulp.

Serving:

  • Take the ramekins/cups out of the fridge. Run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin. Invert the ramekin over the plate and shake gently to help the panna cotta fall out, It should fall out on the plate easily.
  • Garnish with macerated strawberries and sauce.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate without garnishing, lightly covered, for up to 5 days. Letting the panna cotta sit at room temperature for about half an hour before serving.

How to make Panna Cotta

PREP TIME: 10 MINS  COOK TIME: 15 MINS  TOTAL TIME: 30 MINS REFRIGERATION: 3-4 HRS COURSE: DESSERTS/SWEETS  CUISINE: ITALIAN SERVINGS : 2

Ingredients

  • heavy cream – 1/2 cup
  • whole milk – 1/2 cup
  • sugar – 5 tbsp – divided
  • vanilla – 1/2 tsp
  • agar agar – 1/2 tsp
  • water – 1/2 cup – divided

Instructions

Preparing Panna Cotta

  1. Heat 1/4 cup hot water in a small cup or a pan, add 1/2 tsp agar agar powder. Mix well and keep aside for a few mins.
  2. Pour the milk and heavy cream into the sauce pan, then add 2 tbsp sugar. Stir well.
  3. Set the saucepan over low heat and heat the milk gently, stirring or whisking frequently. The milk should never boil.
  4. When the milk is heated, add 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix. Keep this sauce pan aside for a min.
  5. Place the agar agar pan on the stove and heat agar agar water till you see the bubbles in the water.
  6. Pour this agar agar water in the cream pan, mix well and let it cool.
  7. Pour cooled cream in ramekins or small cups and refrigerate 3-4 hrs or till it sets.

Fruit for garnishing

Macerating Strawberries:

Place thinly sliced 8-9 strawberries in a bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar. Mix well and keep aside on a counter or refrigerate.

Strawberry sauce

  • Place 8-9 cubed strawberries in a sauce pan, add 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp sugar. Bring it to boil. Boil for 2-3 mins or until strawberries turns soft. Let them cool.
  • Transfer cooled strawberries in a blender or processor, grind them to a smooth paste.
  • Filter to separate sauce from pulp.

Serving:

  • Take the ramekins/cups out of the fridge. Run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin. Invert the ramekin over the plate and shake gently to help the panna cotta fall out, It should fall out on the plate easily.
  • Garnish with macerated strawberries and sauce.
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate without garnishing, lightly covered, for up to 5 days. Letting the panna cotta sit at room temperature for about half an hour before serving.

Tips

  1. Do not boil cream. Just heat it and add agar agar and vanilla before the cream starts to boil.
  2. You can use your imagination to garnish with different fruits or chocolate or caramel or fruit jelly to decorate.
  3. For jiggly and jelly like panna cotta, use milk and cream combination. For thicker consistency, use only heavy cream. Taste will be good both ways.
  4. Color of the strawberry sauce depends on the color of the strawberries.
  5. If using mango, just blend the mango pieces into pulp. Do not need to make sauce.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s