Thursday, July 15, 2010

Recipe Of The Day: Vanilla Panna Cotta

After our lovely review of the Raya at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel we were hit up by a number of readers interested in getting their hands on some lovely Panna Cotta, only not everyone was sure what it was or how to make it.

Have no fear ladies and gents, we have a delicious and amazingly easy recipe that will knock your guests out of their shoes and socks and have you looking life “Chef Supreme” in your kitchen. 

Panna Cotta for those that don’t know is, Italian for Cooked Cream, is a dessert that is made by simmering together cream, milk, sugar and gelatin then allowing it cool until it is set.
After years of evolving into the delicious desert that it has become to be known today, Panna Cotta is typically flavored with Vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and is served chilled.

Enjoy your Vanilla Panna Cotta this evening while listening to the sounds of Dean Martin’s “Mambo Italiano.”

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin (about 1/2 packet)
½ cup whole milk
½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
Sliced strawberries and fresh mint, for garnish

Place the cream in a saucepan.
Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out the seeds with a knife, then add the seeds and pod to the saucepan.
Add the sugar and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Discard the vanilla pod.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in a bowl and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
Stir the gelatin mixture into the hot cream mixture until dissolved, then stir in the yogurt.
Divide among six to eight 4-ounce ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Dip each ramekin three-quarters of the way in warm water and invert onto a plate. Garnish each panna cotta with strawberries and mint, if desired.   

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