Classic Panna Cotta is one of those foolproof desserts which are beautiful, delicious and easy to make. You have the choice of making the heavier version using 1 little of cream, or to be calorie conscious and use whole milk only. In this recipe I suggest a combination of cream and milk for a not too heavy and yet silky rich texture. I have simplified the recipe even further by making a simple fresh strawberry garnish the flavors of which are enhanced by a touch a Amaretto and store bought strawberry sauce. It is a crowd pleaser dessert and for that reason I like to serve this classic panna cotta when we invite over new friends, whose taste I am not yet familiar with.
2 cups whole milk
2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbs granulated gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
canola or sunflower oil for greasing the molds
For rose garnish:
2 boxes of strawberries
4 Tbs Hershey’s strawberry sauce (or jelly mixed with water)
3 Tbs Amaretto liquor
Brush with oil 8 ramekins or tea cups.
Make the Panna Cotta: Combine the milk and gelatin in a medium sauce pan and put a side for 10 minutes. Heat the milk over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves, don’t let it boil.
Add the cream and the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a large measuring cup and pour the mixture into the ramekins or tea cups.
Chill for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Make the strawberry garnish: Wash, dry and cut in halves the strawberries. In a medium bowl combine the strawberries, strawberry sauce and the Amaretto. Set aside to allow the strawberries to macerate while unmoulding the panna cotta.
Unmould: Run the blade of a thin knife around the walls of the ramekins and dip them in hot water for a few seconds, then place a dessert plate over the ramekins and flip to unmould.
Serve: Spoon the strawberries around the panna cotta and add a few fresh mint leaves. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.
Make it ahead: make the panna cotta the morning before your gathering or the night before, it tastes best if consumed within 24 hours. Put your washed, dried and halved strawberries in a tupperware in the fridge before dinner. Prepare the whipped cream and the mint leaves and keep them in the fridge. Just before serving, add the Amaretto and the sauce to the strawberries, unmould the panna cotta, plate and serve.