Panna cotta is a gelatinous yet creamy dessert that has roots in northern Italy. Its basic ingredients are cream, sugar and gelatin but when combined with other ingredients, it becomes a very unique and flavorful treat.
A number of different sauces and topping combinations can be added to panna cotta, including caramel, nuts, chocolate and berries. Being a fan of chocolate (who isn’t, right?), I decided to infuse bittersweet chocolate into the dessert and add a simple mixed berry sauce to smother it in.
2 cups cream
1 package (1/4 ounce) gelatin (unflavored)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
pinch of salt
6 oz. raspberries
6 oz. blackberries
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Pour 1 cup of cream into a medium saucepan (no heat). Sprinkle gelatin onto cream and let sit for five minutes. Turn the heat to low and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
In a separate pan on medium heat, pour the remaining cream, sugar, and salt; stir and bring to a slow boil. Once the mixture starts to bubble, add the chocolate and stir with a whisk until smooth.
When both are finished (try to time it so they finish around the same time), combine them and stir until fully combined.
Through a strainer, pour the mixture into four small coffee mugs or a greased muffin tin and let rest in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Combine 2/3 of the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender. Pulsate until a uniform texture is achieved.
Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Pour the rest of the berries into the pan and reduce for 5-10 minutes. Let the sauce chill in the refrigerator until the dessert is ready to be served.
Panna cotta has a very unique texture; it is almost like mousse-mixed Jell-O. The chocolate adds great flavor to the typically creamy flavor of the dessert while the sauce brings acidity, giving it balance. Overall, I think this is a great dessert.
This dessert doesn’t hold its texture for long periods of time. Only make what you will eat. This recipe makes enough for four servings.