Monday, August 11, 2008

Panna Cotta with Berries

When I was in Rome, I had the most delicious panna cotta, milk custard, topped with wild berries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. It was creamy, sweet and just plain comfort food. I had to go back to the restaurant to get it again.
I have even adored and lusted over the panna cotta with pomegranate sauce at Incanto (San Francisco restaurant known for its offal). After wanting it more than I had opportunities to eat it, I decided to make it.
Its simplicity surprised me, and made me realize why did I ever pay so much money for this dessert out at restaurants. A few ingredients, which included, cream, half and half, sugar, vanilla bean, and gelatin with a minimum of cooking makes this a perfect dessert for a dinner party. A beautiful presentation, a creamy decadent taste with minimum effort. I topped mine with crushed raspberries and sliced strawberries from our garden:
I am giving you the link from epicurious in which I cut this recipe in half to make 4 ramekins.
Click here for the recipe.
I did substitute the vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. I think it gives a more complex yet mellow vanilla flavor. I scraped the bean and placed it in my cream mixture with the pod. Before adding the cream to the gelatin, I removed the pod. I love to see a sprinkling of vanilla bean. I also think it is important to use quality cream. Since cream is the predominant flavor, pick the very best. I enjoy Strauss’s cream; it is sweet and ultra thick, perfect for this dessert. Panna Cotta is quite versatile; in The French Laundry Cookbook they serve a cauliflower panna cotta, making it savory. But the creamy milk custard allows you immense creativity, plum sauce, kumquats, three citrus etc…
Enjoy this delectable Italian dessert!

7 comments:

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

You have raspberries and strawberries in your own garden? Wow, I'm so envious, in my little Manhattan apt with no sun.

Manger La Ville said...

No, we only have strawberries and blueberries. The raspberries we bought from the Farmer's Market. But that is better than NY growing conditions. The birds mostly get to our berries before we do.

Aran said...

Definitely vanilla beanover vanilla extract. Good choice! And you say the berries were from your garden?? Oh wonderful!

Dee said...

MLV, I have some dying habaneros, and a basil in a pot that gave up the ghost :( Your panna cotta looks amazing, and I can only imagine how great it would have tasted.

Anonymous said...

Looks delish! My favorite Panna Cotta has berries along with parmesan cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, from Serafina. will definitely try yours!

nicisme said...

This looks fabulous!
I love the way you had to go back to the restaurant to have some more!

cook eat FRET said...

i prefer a lighter panna cotta. that version is like ice cream gelee!!!

i'm sure it was delish...