Panna Cotta with fresh Summer Berries
Panna Cotta is my new go-to dessert. Firstly because I can literally bribe my son to do any chores around the house if Panna Cotta is waiting in the fridge for him.
Panna Cotta also is a totally stress free dessert when entertaining. Stress free? Nope, I am not kidding, I know you all think Panna Cotta is complicated and the idea of working with gelatin freaks you out completely, but really it is nothing to me afraid or intimidated by. Once you have conquered your fears by making a classic vanilla panna cotta, the possibilities are endless. Just think, chocolate……… tea-infused……… caramel…….. cappuccino, yes the flavors just keep on getting better.
So let’s just keep it simple for now. Basically you need cream, gelatin and sugar…… and of course vanilla. Let’s talk a bit about gelatin, because for many people this is a struggle.
Here are a few tips that will help you.
The formula for using the little envelopes of gelatin is normally 500 ml liquid for 1 envelope gelatine. Through trial and error, I now use 450 ml liquid to 1 envelope gelatin. It results in a firmer jelly which is easier to handle.
– With panna cottas it is different because of the heavy cream, so most recipes ask for 1 envelope ( 15 ml ) per 1 liter of creamy liquid. Recipes might vary so find the norm. I hope to help you today.
– You must soak or “bloom” the gelatin. Sprinkle gelatin on top of cold water, before you add it to your liquid, especially if it is hot liquid.
– Add the soaked gelatin to warm or hot liquid. The heat will dissolve the gelatin, so stir and take care until you are sure all gelatin has dissolved.
– Never add gelatin to boiling water – it deactivates gelling abilities.
Gelatine Sheets or leaf gelatin
– Always soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes.
– Wring gently to remove excess water.
– Add sheets to room temperature liquid called for in the recipe. I usually add a little boiling water to dissolve the gelatin, but if you are making a cold dessert, make sure the hot liquid cools off first.
– 3 Leaves Gelatin to 2 cups/500ml liquid – this gives you a steady wobble and in Panna Cotta it is referred to as “the dance of the Panna Cotta”
Panna Cotta with Fresh Summer Berries
1 liter cream
150 g sugar
6 – 7 sheets gelatin – softened in 125 ml water – if you make individual servings, 6 sheets should be fine, with the “loaf”, I needed it to be firmer.
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
pinch of salt
fresh berries of your choice
store-bought lemon curd – optional
Soak or bloom the gelatin leaves in tap water for about 10 – 15 minutes or until they are soft. In the meantime, pour the cream into a pot. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and bring the cream to the boil. Just before it reaches boiling point, add the softened gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Pour the cream mixture into individual molds that you sprayed with Spray ‘n Cook or in a bread tin as I have done. Chill for at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight and serve with the fresh berries and curd.
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