I have a confession. I have a slight obsession with puddings and verrines. There’s the hot, velvety chocolate pudding that you can curl up with on rainy days and then there’s Panna Cotta. It’s soft, smooth and silky. It pairs perfectly with any fruits in season and you can enjoy it either after a light or heavy meal. They’re simple and easy to make but with a little creativity and bursts of bright colors, you can make them stand out. It becomes a visually striking dessert. You can also prepare them a day ahead if you are having dinner parties.
It was on the Food Network with Giada de Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian the first time I saw this dessert and it also started my little obsession with verrines in glasses. I like Giada! She’s fun to watch, down to earth and not like the other annoying arrogant chefs on tv. Her recipes are sometimes traditional, from fond memories of family meals and sometimes with a twist of contemporary but always with simple and vibrant flavors. I respect her even more after I learned that she graduated from Le Cordon Blue in Paris. I could only dream of ever going to that school (if I have millions then maybe I’d take the risk and give up everything I have just to study there). I have a day job but there are just some days when it is REALLY difficult to turn off that incessantly beeping alarm and get up just to get ready for work. I could think of a bazillion excuses to make up just to miss work (lol). But the day job pays me well so I shouldn’t really complain though my heart is truly set on cooking and creating desserts. It is where my passion is.
Maybe someday, when the right time comes but for now, I have this little Panna Cotta to comfort me.
Vanilla Panna Cotta
1 cup milk
1 tbsp of unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
cuts of assorted fruits (I used grapes, mangoes, strawberries and kiwis.)
Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in a small bowl. Let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften and bloom. Pour the milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir for 5 minutes until the gelatin dissolves but without boiling the milk. Add the cream, honey, sugar and salt. Stir for another 5-7 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add in the vanilla and stir well. Cool slightly. Pour into little shot glasses. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Make the mango gelee. Pour the cooled mango gelee on top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set. Arrange the fruit slices/cuts on top just before serving.
recipe adapted from Vitamin Cute
3/4 cup of mango puree
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon juice (or calamansi juice)
3 tbsp of water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. In a small saucepan, combine the mango puree, sugar and calamansi juice. Place the pan over medium-low heat. Stirring often, heat until the sugar dissolves. Just before it starts boiling, add the gelatin mixture. Whisk to fully dissolve the gelatin. Remove from heat and cool completely. Pour on top of the cooled panna cotta.