Gourmand Geets : Simply Panna Cotta

I love stewed strawberries and apples. I love it even more when served with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream. One of the easiest desserts to make when in a hurry, it never fails. But I am bored of it. Staring at what was probably the last batch of strawberries this year, I knew I had to do something different with them. Cake was out of the question since my beater was out of commission. It had to be an easy recipe, because it was already late in the evening and I had just got home after a long and tiring day.


And then I remembered the Panna Cotta my friend made a few weeks ago, inspired by Shalinee Pereira, who in turn was inspired by David Lebovitz. A few clicks and jumps from Facebook to blog to blog later, I was sitting with the ingredients in front of me, ready to make my very first Panna Cotta.

Amazingly simple, it was ready to be chilled within 15 minutes. And the result? The most perfect mounds of creamy heaven topped with the luscious strawberries. I couldn’t have found a better way to big goodbye to the gorgeous berries !

Ingredients :
2 cups of heavy cream (I used Amul cream, bought from the neighbourhood supermarket)
1/2 cup sugar
I vanilla pod (or 1 tbsp. vanilla essence)
2 1/4 tsp. gelatin
3 tbsp. hot (not boiling) water

For the topping :
Strawberry stew (cook 1 box of chopped strawberries in 2 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp. sugar till the berries are soft)
Strawberry syrup
Mango ( if not very sweet, you can add some sugar to the chopped mangoes and leave them to chill for an hour before serving your dessert)

Allow the vanilla to infuse for a few minutes.

Method :
In a heavy bottomed pan, mix the cream and sugar and heat till boiling. Remove from heat and add the split vanilla pod (or essence), cover the pan and leave to infuse.

Meanwhile, in bowl, pour the hot water over the gelatin and mix thoroughly till the gelatin dissolves completely. Make sure there are no sticky blobs in the syrup before you add the syrup to the cream mixture.

Strain the cream and gelatin mix before pouring them into ramekins that have been greased with neutral testing oil. Chill for 2 to 4 hours.

To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekins and turn over on a plate. Tap lightly on the bottom and lift away the ramekins – lo and behold, your Panna Cotta is ready to be garnished with generous spoonfuls of the fruits of your choice !

Panna Cotta with Strawberries
Panna Cotta with Strawberries
Panna Cotta with Mangoes.
Panna Cotta with Mangoes.

If you aren’t feeling confident, you can also serve it in the ramekin / dessert bowl you used to set the Panna Cotta (like I did the first time) !

Easy, quick and so incredibly professional in appearance! If this dessert wasn’t so sinful in its cream content, I think I would be making it every week! 😉

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