Saturday, April 29, 2006

Panna Cotta

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups buttermilk
5 tsp unflavored gelatin (two .25 oz envelopes)
6 Tbs water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix cream and sugar in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute, stir and continue at 20 second intervals until sugar crystals have fully melted.

Meantime, measure 6 TBS water into a small heat proof cup or ramkin and sprinkle gelatin over. Place cup in a cool saucepan filled with about a cup of water. Let stand for 5 minutes so gelatin can absorb some of the water.

Turn on burner and heat up saucepan (with heat proof cup still in it) until water is boiling. Continue on simmer until all of gelatin has melted, about 1 ½-2 minutes.

Remove saucepan from stovetop. Carefully remove hot ramkin from water bath using a hot pad or oven mitt to avoid burns. Stir gelatin mixture into heated cream.

Stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract.

For individual servings, use a liquid measure to pour about ½ to ¾ cup of liquid into small glass or plastic cups. Top with berries just before serving.

For a larger panna cotta, pour all liquid into a 6 cup mold or two 3 cup molds. A bowl can be used as a mold if you wish.

When you are ready to serve, dip the bottom up to sides of mold in a sink of hot water for about 15-20 seconds. Cover with serving dish and turn over. If panna cotta doesn’t come out, dip again in hot water for another 10 or 15 seconds and turn over again. Spoon berries all around the molded Panna Cotta and use a large serving spoon when ready to serve or cut into slices. Spoon berries to the side or overtop.

Makes 12 servings. Recipe can be halved easily.