Recipe: Vanilla Panna Cotta

Hello everyone! I apologize for the long hiatus from WordPress! It’s applications time for me right now, so I’ve had more on my plate than I already do in grad school 😩 Thank you for being patient with me as I take longer periods of time to put something together for you to read ❀

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Today, I want to share a dessert recipe that I made! Have you ever had panna cotta before? It’s an Italian dessert made with sweetened cream and thickened with gelatin so it has that nice firm, but melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s deeeeeeelicious, I promise! For the recipe I used, I actually made two batches to see how it would taste and how firm it would get, so feel free to experiment!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 envelope (whatever that means), or .25oz of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar (I’m sure you can use cane sugar or brown sugar to be slightly “healthier”)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

According to this recipe, it can make 6 servings! I followed that recipe blindly and ended up making a HUGE sweet batch that I just could’t finish in one sitting! Even my roommate helped me, but it was just so sweet… so I tweaked it and the modified recipe is below (to make approximately 2-3 servings):

  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of skim milk
  • 3 tsp of lemon jello mix (Yes, you got that right…I couldn’t find unflavored gelatin at my grocery store, so I had to improvise! Since I only used a little bit, it barely affected the flavor, thankfully)
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (My first batch was SUPER sweet, so I wanted to tone down some of the sweet factor)

I always thought panna cotta was super difficult to make since it’s often served at higher-end restaurants that I’ve dined in, but it actually wasn’t too bad! There are generally 3 steps (the 2nd step is the longest), which I’ll list out below:

  1. Pour the milk and gelatin into a bowl and mix it together as best you can to dissolve the gelatin powder.
  2. Turn on your stove to medium heat, and add the heavy cream and sugar into a pot and stir them together.
  3. Cover the pot and watch carefully until your mixture has started to bubble! **You don’t want one or two bubbles, you want the whole surface to start bubbling**
  4. Add the milk and gelatin mix into the pot and stir it vigorously for a full minute.
  5. Quickly remove the pot from heat, and add the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the mixture into whatever containers you like. **the recipe calls for ramekins, but I used stemless wine glasses since it looks fancy heh**
  7. Let the panna cotta mix cool, uncovered, until it gets to room temerature.
  8. When it’s cool, cover it up in saran wrap, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours. For best results, leave it in the fridge overnight and enjoy it the next day!
  9. BONUS: As an added touch, if you have any berries lying around, you can heat up a small pot, add the berries, a bit of water, and some sugar, and let it simmer until it turns into a berry sauce. Drizzle that on top of your now-cool panna cotta and enjoy the sweet and acidic sweetness of your berry sauce!

Hope you enjoyed reading and will try out this yummy recipe 🙂

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