December 4, 2007

Luscious Pannacotta

Panna Cotta and Tiramisù are the best known Italian desserts and it's easy to find out why. Their creamy texture and indulgent flavors are the best way to end a perfect meal. Panna cotta means "cooked cream" and cream is about 80% of the final result. So despite that fresh and light impression it really is a very very rich dessert. But don't get anxious about calories, it's dessert time!

5 gelatin sheets
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups heavy cream
Vanilla extract

Panna cotta is super-easy to prepare, but there's one big problem. Personally, I don't like to use gelatin powder when preparing panna cotta because I find that the final result is just not the same. Gelatin sheets are known as colla di pesce in Italian but in America are incredibly hard to find. I couldn't find them at Di Bruno Bros in Philadelphia, but thank God I got them in Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop, right on the Italian Market. If you know where to get gelatin sheets in your city, please feel free to post a comment here.

Ok. Let's start. In a medium size pot, stir the cream with the milk and sugar. When the sugar is dissolved set over medium-high heat. Put the gelatin sheets in a bowl and then pour on some water in order to cover them. Watch the pot and stir constantly because we don't want to boil it. After 5 minutes when it's warm and beginning to steam, take the sheets, shaking off the water, and dissolve them, stirring on the cream. Remove from heat after another 3-5 minutes or when you notice that some bubbles are forming around the edges. Add some vanilla extract and wait 10 minutes. Pour into serving cups, cover with plastic film, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Like Tiramisù it tastes much better the day after.
Posted by Daziano at 7:20 AM |  


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