The Perfect Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is one of those desserts I always thought would be too complicated to make. However, it is actually quite the opposite. It really shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes to make–and if it does you’re doing something wrong. The quickness of this dessert makes it great for dinner parties, as well as a tasty treat during the week.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-4 cups heavy cream
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 tsp good vanilla extract
-2 packets powdered gelatin (4 1/2 tsp)
-6 Tbsp cold water

First, heat your cream and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn the heat off, and mix the vanilla extract in.

Put the water in a separate bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin packets in. Let dissolve undisturbed for about 5-10 minutes.

Pour the warm milk mixture over the gelatin, and stir until all of the gelatin has dissolved and there are no lumps.

Next, ladle the panna cotta mixture into small cups. You can get really creative with the dishes you use. Perhaps a canning jar, espresso cup, vintage tea-cup, or even a wine glass. (If you plan to unmold your panna cotta after it firms, make sure you lightly oil your cups  so that your custard will slip out cleanly.)

Refrigerate 2-4 hours or until firm and jiggly.

Sometimes I prefer to eat panna cotta plain and simple, but your garnishings can be endless. If berries are in season, mix them with a little sugar and place them on top. I also really enjoy a drizzling of agave nectar or honey for a nice smooth sweetness.

Enjoy!

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