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After making the labour intensive (but oh so satisfying!) Tomboy Cake and challenging (but to die for good!) Lime Meringue Tarts, I was glad that Aimée White of Food: Je t’Aimée assigned a simple Panna Cotta for this month. The recipe itself contains a mere five ingredients (plus the garnish of your choice) and comes together quickly and easily. Honestly, the hardest part is letting it sit overnight before you dive in and enjoy! I have to admit to continuously peaking in the fridge throughout the day to see if they had already set, but it did indeed take overnight for them to become firm.
Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert, basically an eggless custard which translated means “cooked cream”. It literally takes five minutes to make, and the light, fresh texture and taste makes it the perfect dessert to serve in the summer. As far as entertaining goes, I have a feeling this might become my new favourite! You can make it ahead up to three days, storing in the refrigerator well covered and garnished just before serving.
For this recipe test I used 1 tsp of Vanilla Paste, an easy way of incorporating the intense flavour from a bean but in liquid format. Topped with fresh strawberries, the tang from the buttermilk made beautiful music together with the heavy cream and left your palate feeling refreshed. It truly is an effortless dessert. My only qualm was that the texture turned out much too runny for my liking (think gelatin soup). So I whipped up another batch but this time added more gelatin. The consistency was better, but still too runny. The trick with panna cotta is adding the correct amount of gelatin: too much and it turns out elastic, too little and it’s runny. However after two tries I decided not to experiment further with increasing gelatin until I hit the sweet spot. I expect a recipe to do the work for me.
I’m definitely going to be making Panna Cotta again, but not this recipe. Perhaps next time I’ll add some white chocolate into the mix and top with stewed fresh cherries. Deb over at East of Eden Cooking is daydreaming about infusing the cream with mint and topping with fresh raspberries and shaved chocolate. The possibilities are endless…
Do you have a favourite summer dessert? What flavours are you most excited to incorporate into your baking now that summer is fast approaching?