Saturday, 4 May 2013

Vanilla Panna Cotta with quick Strawberry Sauce

First Instant Tiramisu and then Panna Cotta, I am seriously on a diet… Dessert Diet !!  After I ranted big on the reasons “Why I can’t be any slimmer”, this seriously is a hilarious attempt to post all the desserts I have prepared in a row. It’s so difficult to control my urges when it comes to any homemade sweets. I can still hold on to my temptations when eating out. But when it comes to homemade desserts, I am a sucker really. I indulge myself a bit too much on sweets every weekend and then try all next week not to cook anything but then weekend comes and just acquires me in its grip and I fall into the trap L.. every weekend I make some dessert and finish it up in next two days spending rest of the week cribbing about this annoying habit of mine.

When the Group - Groovey Gourmet presented this Challenge of making Panna Cotta, I was a bit scared really since I had read about a lot of failure stories on  various blogs for Panna Cotta. So I was a bit scared of making it  since I am not good with non-Indian desserts anyway. I tried the first batch and it was a disaster. God knows why the recipe stated only 1.8 g of Gelatin when it should have been at least 18gms. I think the writer did a mistake, but then it ruined my batch, it was not at all set. I quickly made this Double cream Kheer with that which was a success.. that’s another thing, I think I do handle disasters in Indian cooking still well.

Second time when I made it, from a different recipe which used agar agar. But again, I failed miserably in the consistency part. It was Ok to taste, but it swelled up a bit too much and was not at all looking like Panna cotta. I literally wanted to bang my head against wall for such stupid mistakes and not reading the recipe properly. Hopelessly, the final recipe which I tried did wonders somehow. This Yoghurt based Panna Cotta was an amazing treat for myself and s, and our neighbours and some friends..  ( Since I made a lot of it in all enthusiasm). It came out beautifully from the moulds, and I topped with an easy quick strawberry Sauce. The combination was totally made in heaven and again this weekend was full of sweets which made up to the crappy weather. (I didn’t even mention it once today )

What you need ?
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin (1 envelope)
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For Strawberry Sauce
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar - or less, depending on your taste 

How to make? 
  • First make panna cotta. Place cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top, let soften for 3 minutes.
  • In pot, bring cream and sugar over low-medium heat. Slice open vanilla bean and scrape seeds in cream mixture, then add scraped bean (you'll strain it out later). Bring to simmer, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scalding.
  • Turn off heat and add gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • In a larger bowl add yogurt and stir until creamy. Place mesh strainer over the yogurt bowl and pour cream and vanilla through strainer into yogurt bowl to catch the spent vanilla bean. Stir carefully with whisk until cream and vanilla is fully combined with yogurt.
  • Pour panna cotta into 6 ramekins or glasses, refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

For Strawberry Sauce: 
  • Take chilled Strawberries and mix Sugar. Blend in a mixer and strain to avoid any seeds coming in. 
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours till you start serving Panna Cotta. Spoon on top and serve Chilled. 

My notes: 
  • Do not keep the mould inside the hot water for more than 5 seconds, I did and my Panna Cotta melted down in no time. 
  • Do not wriggle the mould too much to take the Panna Cotta out, it might break. Just be very gentle. 
  • You many also serve the dessert in the bowls/glasses itself. That will save you all the hassle of de-moulding it first and then placing on the plate properly. It will also remain set for longer in the bowls.
  • Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top, like Pistachios Almonds etc for extra crunch and variation. Sliced fruits are also used for garnishing Panna Cotta
  • There are many recipes for Panna Cotta. This one worked best for me, but I am keen now to try on the non-yoghurt based ones

This is off to The Groovy Gourmets where we are trying our hand at Panna Cotta for this month.


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