Panna Cotta is Italian for “cooked cream” and comes from the Piemonte (Piedmont) region in Northern Italy.It is a thick cream pudding, not to be likened to crème brulée for the latter is a custard made with egg yolks, whereas panna cotta relies on gelatin as its thickening agent.
The variations on this dish are endless. I think I could write a whole book of recipes just for panna cotta starting with the traditional sweet classics moving on to savory derivatives. I’m pretty sure that has already been done though, so for today I’ll just go with the more classic version.
- 4 gelatine sheets/leaves
- 600ml (1 pint) double [heavy] cream
- 150ml (5fl oz) milk
- 60g (2 oz) caster sugar
- 200g (7 oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
- Coat a mould or individual cups with cooking spray and set aside.
- Soak the gelatine sheets in a plate of cold water until soft, then set aside until ready to use.
- Heat the cream, milk and caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat to melt the sugar, stirring occasionally.
- When the cream starts to bubble up the sides of the saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.
- Drain the excess water off the gelatine and add the gelatine to the cream mixture. Stir until dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared mould or cups and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- The panna cotta should have a slight wobble when ready to serve. Unmould onto a serving platter or plates and serve.
Serve with fresh berries, e.g. raspberries and blackberries.
- Since I only find gelatine in powder form I had to improvise. In my case one sachet (14g) sets one pint. Each sachet needs 125ml (½ cup) of water and I ended up needing 2 sachets plus 250ml (1 cup) of water along with all the ingredients above. It worked well!
- Double cream gave the panna cotta a certain heaviness. It is worth a try making it with single cream instead.
- Instead of using cooking spray I simply used silicone moulds that don’t need any greasing.