Of cooked cream and strawberries

Panna Cotta. One of the simplest and most beautiful of Italian desserts to make. Though the literal translation is “Cooked Cream”, it certainly doesn’t take a long time to cook. The satiny cream, which is both rich and delicate at the same time is a true delight to consume. And guess what? You can make them in any flavor of your choice. The sky is the limit.

So let’s get down to the recipe!

Vanilla Panna Cotta:

  • 600 ml cream, chilled (with 25% butter-fat content – I used Amul Fresh Cream)
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  • Have 6 dessert bowls ready. You can use any bowl of any shape of your choice.
  • Take 60 ml of the chilled cream in a small cup and sprinkle the gelatin over it.
  • Allow this to sit for 10 – 12 mins, during which time it will soften and become spongy.
  • Take the remaining cream in a saucepan, add the powdered sugar and bring it to just a boil, stirring continuously to dissolve the sugar.
  • Remove it from the heat and add the gelatin paste to the hot cream.
  • Keeping stirring till the gelatin dissolves completely.
  • You might have to return the saucepan to the flame and keep stirring it on low flame to dissolve all the gelatin granules.
  • This might take some time. This is the only time-consuming process in the entire preparation. So you will need some patience.
  • When all the gelatin granules have dissolved, remove from the flame and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the cream into your 6 dessert bowls and allow them to set in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2-4 hours. I did refrigerate them overnight, though.
  • Your Panna Cotta is now ready! 🙂

Being a vanilla Panna Cotta, you can have with any topping of your choice. Personally, I would suggest a tangy berry puree to go with the silky sweetness of the Panna Cotta. Here is the recipe for a quick Strawberry sauce.

Quick Strawberry Sauce:

  • 10 – 12 small-to-medium strawberries (fresh ones)
  • 3 – 4 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • ⅛ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Method:

  • Wash and de-stem the strawberries, and cut them into tiny pieces.
  • Take a saucepan and add the strawberries with the sugar and bring to a boil, over low-medium flame.
  • The amount of sugar can be varied to suit your taste. Suppose you want a really tangy sauce, then you can cut down on the sugar, and vice-versa.
  • Once the berries become tender and the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon juice and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • When the sauce seems to come together, add the cornflour (mixed with a few drops of water) to the sauce, stir for a minute on low flame, and once it begins to thicken, remove from the flame.
  • Your strawberry sauce is done.

Now all that remains is to eat the Panna Cotta. Remove them from the refrigerator and serve them with a generous helping of the strawberry sauce! 😉

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Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce

Bon Appetit! 🙂

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