Posted on | April 27, 2007 | 31 Comments |
Panna Cotta means Cooked Cream in Italian. This is one of the easiest desserts to make; simmer some cream and sugar, add gelatin and cool to form the most deliciously simple creamy dessert. This is also a very versatile dessert; add spices like vanilla bean, cardamom, cinnamon or ginger to the cream to make it more exotic. Another variation is to mix pureed fruits or juices directly into the cream to make a fruit flavored Panna Cotta. Panna Cotta goes nicely with warm fruit compotes, or you can make some nice fruit sauce to go with the plain Panna Cotta. The possibilities are endless with this one!
I’ve always enjoyed the Panna Cotta in its different forms at the restaurants, but never really thought about what is in it or how to make it at home. But a few years ago, my friend Su who is an amazing dessert expert made an orange scented Panna cotta for a party, it was the best Panna Cotta I’d ever had! When she explained the recipe, I was just amazed at how simple it was to make! After that I’ve tried this in various forms, and it always comes out great!
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 tbsp fresh orange peels
- 1/2 vanilla bean split
- Shaved chocolate and Orange segments for garnish
Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp orange juice and let it stand for about 10 minutes without stirring. This is to soften the gelatin.
In a saucepan, add cream, sugar, vanilla bean, orange peel and rest of the orange juice. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
When the cream is heated through and starts simmering, turn off the stove. Add the softened gelatin mixture and stir well to combine. Make sure the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Pass the cooked cream mixture through a fine sieve to remove the orange peels and the vanilla pods.
Pour the mixture into six ramekins or dessert bowls. Chill in the refrigerator uncovered for about 3 hours or overnight.
Before serving, dip the cups in hot water for a few seconds. Pass a thin knife through the edges to separate the Panna cotta from the cup, and turn the cup on to the dessert plates. (see note)
Garnish with shaved chocolate swirls and orange segments.
- For me, the Panna cotta never ever comes out neatly from the ramekins. I tend to cut the edges while separating with the knife. (The one in the picture doesn’t look that great from the other side.) If you are serving this to guests, chill the Panna cotta in the serving bowls ( martini glasses will make a nice presentation) and serve directly without tempting fate.
- Don’t boil gelatin, it will lose its binding power and the mixture will never set.
- I made this one with Blood Oranges, thinking that the Panna Cotta will turn out in a nice red color, but the ratio of orange juice to cream is so low, the blood oranges didn’t make any difference to the color. So use regular oranges, blood oranges are so expensive, don’t waste those in this, since the taste is not that different with either one.
This one has this really amazing burst of citrus flavor in each spoonful, orange lovers will love this. With all that cream and sugar, it is a very deceptively sinful dessert, even though it tastes very simple, so have at your own risk. Don’t come knockin’ when your waistline go expandin’!
Check out Meeta’s Berry Panna Cotta here.