In my previous post on Vanilla Panna Cotta & Balsamic Berries Verrine, I shared a recipe of the classic Italian dessert — Panna Cotta. Compared to the previous post, this time I am going to introduce another method of making panna cotta. And, you may wonder, what is the difference? Most of the recipes out there will ask you to heat the milk (if using) and cream together, and some will even bring all the cream to a boil. I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT!
I realise that heating all the cream (and milk) may not be necessary, and it is also not necessary to bring it to a boil. So, what I’ve done here is to heat the milk, so that it is just sufficiently warm to melt the sugar and gelatine. Then, pour the chilled whipping cream to the warm milk mixture. This step is critical as it quickly cools down the milk mixture. In essence, this recipe avoids heating excessively and boiling the cream, since heat is believed to affect the flavour of cream although the difference is quite subtle to most people. Moreover, a not-so-hot mixture allows the panna cotta to set more quickly, and a more even distribution of vanilla bean throughout the cup of panna cotta as well.
So, shall we make some panna cotta? It’s so easy!
Ingredients (yield: 12 dessert cups)
(A) Panna Cotta
Vanilla bean paste 1/2 tsp
Gelatine sheet 2 pcs
Whipping cream 575g
(B) Mango Compote
Mango, cubed 250g
Lemon juice 1 tsp
- To make the panna cotta: Prepare 12 dessert cups. Bloom the gelatine in ice-cold water until it softens; set aside.
- In a saucepan, cook milk, sugar and vanilla bean paste, until sugar melts.
- When the milk mixture is warm, add bloomed gelatine. Stir to dissolve.
- Remove the milk mixture from heat.
- Add whipping cream, and mix well.
- Pour into dessert cups. Refrigerate until completely set.
- To make the mango compote: Place mango cubes, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook under medium heat, until the liquid becomes syrupy; cook for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Spoon some mango compote on top of the panna cotta. Garnish with mint leaves and mini macaron.
- Serve chilled.