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Recipe Corner: Chocolate Panna Cotta With Mixed Berry Sauce

Try this simple and unique Italian dessert.

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.

Ingredients

Panna Cotta

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

Sauce

6 oz. raspberries

6 oz. blackberries

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

Process

Panna Cotta

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.

Sauce

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.

Taste Test

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.

Leftover Quality

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.

Kevin McCaffrey August 01, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Aaron, did I tell you that I made your pasta salad recipe? It was really delicious, and my friend liked it, too!
Judy C. Davis August 01, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Can you double or triple this recipe successfully, or is it unmanageable to do that?
Aaron Sewell August 02, 2011 at 05:13 PM
You can definitely up the quantity.

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