Panna cotta is a Decadent Dessert that will leave you absolutely begging for more.
Panna cotta holds a special connection to the region of Piedmont in Italy and this creamy delicacy, with its velvety texture, can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it first appeared in the beautiful Langhe area of Piedmont.
The name "panna cotta" literally translates to "cooked cream" in Italian, which perfectly describes the dessert's main ingredient. Piedmont's lush pastures and high-quality dairy farms produce the creamiest, richest and most flavorful cream you'll ever taste and when used in this dessert the result is truly heavenly.
While panna cotta is now popular throughout Italy and beyond, it is in Piedmont where you will find some unique variations and interpretations. In the city of Asti, for example, panna cotta is often prepared with a splash of local Moscato wine, adding a subtle fruity note to the dessert. In other parts of Piedmont, you might find panna cotta served with a drizzle of melted Guindiua chocolate or a berry compote. Its creamy, delicate nature makes it a versatile canvas for various flavor combinations.
My recipe is the classical one, so prepare it for yourself, and be transported to gorgeous Piedmont with every heavenly bite.
• 3 tsp. of gelatin (colla di pesce) - vegetarians, or those who don't like gelatin, can use four egg whites instead.
• 2 cups (480ml) of heavy cream
• 1/4 cup (60g) of sugar
• 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla or else one small vanilla bean
• not more than a pinch of salt
1) Dissolve the gelatin in the cream for about 5 minutes.
2) Combine with the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the first bubbles begin to appear around the edges of your pan.
3) Once the bubbling has begun quickly remove the pan from the heat before it boils fully and stir until it is all completely mixed together.
4) Pour the mixture into small baking dishes and set it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but it really does taste much better if you can leave it overnight.
5) Serve with fresh fruit, balsamic vinegar (a nice thick high quality balsamic), Moscato wine, chilled espresso, or melted chocolate. A berry sauce and a sprig of mint is my favorite way of serving the dish.