Panna Cotta is an Italian milk pudding, made of milk, cream or a combination of both, with gelatin as the solidifying agent. No eggs are used, differentiating it from custards and creme brulee.  A well-made panna cotta is a silky smooth, quivering mound of creamy beauty. It’s delicious plain, or flavored with vanilla. I came up with this zesty, minty version as a post-dinner palate cleanser, and since I love fruit with mint, added the berries.

I haven’t perfected the art of de-containerizing the panna cotta without any damage to it – despite oiling my ramekins with flavorless, scentless grapeseed oil. Now, if you find some trick to this, you’ll have to let me know!

  • cream, 3 cups
  • milk, 1 cup
  • lime zest, of 1 lime
  • handful of mint
  • sugar, 3 tbsp
  • water, 3 tbsp, cold
  • gelatine, 2 packets
  1. In a clean and scentless pan, simmer the cream/milk with sugar, zest and mint, to bring out the flavors
  2. In a separate bowl with the cold water, sprinkle 2 packets of gelatin and whisk. It becomes a gelatinous mass. Don’t worry about it.
  3. Pour the warm and flavored cream, through a sieve, onto the gelatin – a little first and keep whisking to ensure there are no lumps
  4. Pour the rest of the cream in and divide it amongst well-oiled ramekins
  5. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

For the berries

  • bowlful of blueberries and blackberries (for color cohesion)
  • sugar, 2-3 tbsp
  • lemon juice, 1 tbsp
  • creme de cassis, a few splashes
  • balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp
  1. Bring all the above to a simmer until the berries start to soften while still mostly holding shape. Mash with a fork any of them that have already broken
  2. Pour the berry concoction over the already-cooled, upended-on-a-plate panna cotta
  3. Attack with gusto

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