vanilla bean panna cotta

April 16, 2013


Panna cotta will always remind me of our honeymoon. There were many nights in Italy where Matthew and I would finish off a meal with the most delicious panna cotta. It’s rich so you don’t need much, but it’s the perfect ending to a delicious meal. I didn’t realize how simple panna cotta was to make until finding this recipe via David Lebovitz. It’s actually dangerous how simple it is to make. Plus you might already have all the ingredients on hand!

Perfect Panna Cotta from David Lebovitz
makes 8 servings *for some reason mine made 12, even though I used some larger cups

4 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise {I used the vanilla bean}
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons). {I’d measure it out. For some reason 2 packets made mine a little too firm, so I might cut back by 1/2 teaspoon next time}
6 tablespoons cold water

Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. I chose to use a vanilla bean instead of the extract, so if you’d like to do that, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.

Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil (Canola Oil works!)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the very warm panna cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Divide the panna cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two to four hours.

Run a sharp knife around the edge of each panna cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired. I chose to serve the panna cotta in the mustard dishes {so much easier!} and topped them with fresh berries drizzled in some local honey. So good!


There are so many different types of panna cotta I want to experiment with now. 
How delicious would it be to infuse some fresh mint, or lemon, into the cream? Yum!

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