Ah I love Panna Cotta! It’s one of those desserts that requires no effort whatsoever but is oh-so-fancy. Desserts made with cream and milk are very popular in my neck of the woods. So when I had my parents try the Italian Panna Cotta, they naturally loved it because the mildly sweet and dairy flavor is right on the tip of their tongue. It’s basically sweetened cream that is set with gelatin. That’s it. No fancy ingredients or techniques. It’s literally easier than making doodhpatti (Pakistani milk tea), and although I make a killer cup of chai, it’s quite frankly and frequently a messy affair that ends with me dabbing kitchen towel on the steamed milk that just inevitably overflows! Ok, maybe I need to glue myself to the stove and not float around my apartment when the milk is on the hob…
Good thing this panna cotta doesn’t require boiling the cream. It’s such a light dessert to have after a particularly heavy meal like a humongous sirloin steak, for example. Of course, you must paint on some beautiful colors of seasonal berries. I absolutely love strawberry sauce with it. It makes the cream sing!
If you’re more into visuals, check out how I make this!
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin power
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup strawberries (hulled and sliced)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Heat milk along with gelatin in a sauce pan over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Cream should not boil at all.
- Add sugar and salt and continue to cook over very low heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Turn off stove and add cream into the milk and stir until smooth. Add vanilla.
- Pour into glass bowls of your choice. Refrigerate for a few hours or until the panna cotta is set. Overnight refrigeration is best.
- To make the strawberry sauce, toss strawberries, sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until strawberries break down. Continue to simmer for 10-15 mins until sauce has thickened.
- To unmold the panna cotta, pour hot water into a big bowl. Now place the panna cotta mold gently in the water (water should come up to ⅓ of the way up to the panna cotta mold). Hold the mold for ten seconds and quickly turn it over onto your dessert plate. Jiggle the mold to release the panna cotta. If it doesn't realease, run a paring knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the panna cotta and try again.
- Drizzle with strawberry sauce and serve.