Happy New Year everyone! This year, I'll be starting off with a dessert recipe. Yeah yeah we've all eaten too much over the holidays, but this isn't just any dessert. I like to think of it as "the little black dress of desserts". It's a simple little number that you can serve plain or dress up for a trendy black tie affair.
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert meaning "cooked cream". The cream is thickened with gelatine and then set on a mould. It's typically turned out onto a plate and served with a sauce, but can also be served in portioned cups.
Panna Cotta can be served in virtually any flavour combination imaginable with toppings and layeres.
Helping out Friends
I had to make 100 of these little beauties for a copper wedding anniversary at the last minute. My husband's friends cried out for help on Facebook when their usual go-to cake lady cancelled due to work. meaning they needed a dessert and they needed it fast! I'm on sick leave since my jaw surgery, and had nothing else to do, so I agreed to help. It was just a couple days after Christmas, so the pressure was on. I needed something I could make after coming home after spending Christmas at my in-laws, and they were on a tight budget. I suggested Panna Cotta, and it was just the ticket, at just 8.50 dkk per serving (about $1.25 USD). We agreed that it should have white chocolate and raspberry. The rest was up to me. Playtime!!
The dessert I made for them was a vanilla panna cotta topped with a raspberry gel. Sprinkled onto the gel was granulated caramelized white chocolate, a shard of almond nougatine glass, two meringues, raspberry and licorice, and a fresh raspberry.
The dessert was a hit, and they had plenty left over, which was great because panna cotta freezes well and they could use it as their New Years dessert!
If you want to read more ways you also can reduce food waste in the kitchen, you can check out some tips here.
Ingredients and Instructions
This recipe has been adjusted to give 6 portions of 150 ml each (which is the size you see in the photos)
Vanilla panna cotta:
450 ml cream
450 ml full fat milk
90 g sugar
2 vanilla beans
6 leaves gelatine
2 bags (800 g) frozen raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
100 ml water
Squeeze of lemon
4 leaves gelatine
Caramelized white chocolate
(Warning: this needs to be made a day ahead)
Take a bar of your preferred white chocolate and melt carefully over warm water. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer, and bake 120° for approximately an hour until the chocolate turns a light golden brown. It will continue to caramelize after you remove from the oven, so don't let it get too dark, or it will become bitter!
Allow the chocolate to dry out 12 hours (depending on your chocolate) before hacking into pieces, or blending into granules. Chocolates vary, and the chocolate I used remained soft many hours after baking.
2 egg whites
100 g confectioner's sugar
flavouring of choice (appx ½ tsp)
a pinch of cream of tartar or a few drops lemon
Beat your egg whites on high speed until they begin to froth. Add your sugar slowly, a bit at a time together with the cream of tartar or lemon juice. Continue to beat until the egg whites become thick and stiff enough to hold the bowl upside down and add flavouring at the last second. A half a teaspoon of flavouring should do.
Bake at 90° for approximately 1.5 hours until dried and crispy. They should not be chewy in the middle. Once oven dried, you can leave them in the open to further air dry and avoid sticking together. They don't last long in humid climates, so I had to make them the morning of the party to be sure they weren't sad, limp little puffs.
The finished product was served to around 60 adults and children and received plenty of praise from the anniversary guests.
I had a lot of fun making these desserts, and if you like this recipe or have a suggestion for a future recipe, feel free to comment below or send me a message! Sharing is caring, so remember to share this recipe with your friends, or check out my other recipes. You can also find a printable version of the basic recipe here.
Until next time, lovlies, stay chefy!!
Hey there! My name is Lea, and I'm a Canadian Culinary student trying to survive chef life in Denmark. I want to share my journey, and some great food and experiences with others. I believe that anyone can be quite chefy!