Monday, May 26, 2008

Panna Cotta

We ate Panna Cotta at a cafe in Piazza Navona, Rome, this costs us 8 euros, we split 2 among the 3 of us. It was so good, that was the first time I ate Panna Cotta (cooked cream), I've seen it done on cooking shows on TV, so this Memorial day I decided to make it. I found the recipe in an Italian Cook book that I had, it's so easy. Recipe follows, at the end of pictures.
I made the blackberry sauce earlier and froze it. I took it out of the freezer yesterday to defrost it. Here I'm cooking 1 cup cream with 1 cup sugar and it is now cooling on the kitchen counter.

Et voila or should I say something in Italian. This is the finished product. Panna Cotta, anyone?

Every one loved it, what's not to love, it's 2 cups of cream. It was delicious. You should try this at home. You'll be an instant hit as a cook. I don't even watch cooking shows.

Suffice it to say, we didn't have any leftover Panna Cotta. I shouldn't have left that carton of cream on the dinner table, as if we didn't have enough of the artery clogging stuff. It was left there for the other dessert, a cherry crumble which had a lot leftover. The bottle next to it is Grappa con Mertilli or Blueberries in Grappa, an exquisite drink. I brought it back from Rome. Here's the recipe for Panna Cotta,
2 envelops of Knox Powdered Gelatin (local supermarkets)
6 tablespoon water
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
7/8 cup sugar
In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin into the 6 tbs of water, set aside, do not stir. In pan, over low eat, warm half of cream with sugar till just about to boil. Do not boil, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Whip the rest of cream till stiff peaks, mix into the boiled cream (now at room temp). Pour into bowl and chill in fridge for at least 3 hours. Before serving loosen edges with knife and place bowl into hot water. Invert on serving plate and serve with favorite berry sauce.
The sauce I used is Blackberry sauce. Make a simple syrup by melting 1 cup of sugar in 1/2 cup water, cool. Take a bag of frozen Blackberries (1 lb), mix with simple syrup, pulse in mixer or food processor and there you have it, your Blackberry sauce. It can be done ahead and frozen.
Panna Cotta is sometimes served with caramel sauce like a flan in Italy. We tried both ways. I prefer the berry sauce. You can use any kind of berries. For the little effort, the taste is so huge. You'll be a success, everyone will want to come to your parties. My family loves to come over, I always come up with new things that I've tasted abroad. While we have our own standbys, I add new recipes each time.
Buon apetito!

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