Follow this recipe exactly and you will have one lovely Panna Cotta. Don’t go substituting the cream or milk for anything of lower or higher fat content though. I have calibrated the fat content so that the Panna Cotta is smooth and creamy but not cloyingly rich. And, the fat content also works with the amount of gelatin I use to give the Panna Cotta a nice wobble.

From start to finish, it will take not more than 15 minutes to make, with minimal mess and wash up!

What about a sauce? Don’t need it. Sweet-tart berries are a perfect complement to the richness of milky pudding. Use any kind of berries in any combination. Such a stress free dessert this is.

Panna Cotta With Lots Of Berries

Prep: ~ 10 minutes 
Cook: ~ 2 minutes
Inactive: Sit in the refrigerator for ~ 4 hours to firm up.
Level: Easy.
Makes: Three 1/3 cup-sized
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? 3 – 5 days ahead

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml =8.45 US fl oz

Panna Cotta
200ml whipping cream (35% fat content)*
50ml full fat milk (3.5%)*
~1 to 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
~ 1/2 Tablespoon gelatin powder
1 Tablespoon water
~1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A little neutral tasting oil for greasing
Others:
Any berries in any combination to serve with Panna Cotta.
Stick to the percentage of fat content indicated. OK, a +/- 1% deviation is allowed but nothing more/less as I can’t otherwise guarantee that the texture of the pudding will turn out like mine.

Method

Prep the ramekins
1. Use ramekins or similar small circular containers. Whichever size you choose doesn’t really matter but keep in mind that to unmould the Panna Cotta securely on to your serving plate, you would have to fill the ramekins all the way up until it reaches ~ 1/4″ – 1/2″ (0.6cm – 1.25 cm) from the rim.
2. With a kitchen paper towel, lightly grease the insides of each ramekin, wipe any oil droplets, set them on a baking tray.

Combine cream + milk + sugar

1. In a small pot, add cream, milk and sugar. Do not turn on the burner yet.

Dissolve gelatin in water
1. In a small heatproof container (for instance a ramekin, glass or cup), add 1 Tablespoon water and then sprinkle the gelatin over it.
2. Place directly in the centre of the pot of cream/milk. Refer to image below.
3. The heat from the milk will help dissolve the gelatin.

Dissolve
1. Turn the burner on to medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.  As soon as you see tiny bubbles appearing around the circumference, turn off and remove from burner. Do not let it boil. It takes less than 2 minutes.
2. Empty the dissolved gelatin into the milk/cream mixture and whisk in.
3. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Transfer to ramekins
 1. Fill each ramekin with the liquid Panna Cotta until it reaches ~ 1/4″ – 1/2″ (0.6cm – 1.25 cm) from the rim.
2. Place ramekins on baking tray and refrigerate ~ 4 hours or until firm.

Unmoulding
1. Have a bowl filled with enough hot/warm (not boiling) water so that the water can run 3/4 up the sides of the ramekin.
2. Bring out your serving plates and rinse them. Shake them dry. That little bit of water left on the plate will allow you to move and adjust the Panna Cotta freely to centre it.
3. Run a pointy knife along the circumference of the Panna Cotta. The knife need not go all the way to the bottom.
4. Dip the ramekin into the bowl of hot water ~10 seconds. Timing here is an approximate. It depends on how thick your ramekins are and the material they are made of, glass, ceramic, metal…?
5. Place the overturn serving plate on the ramekin. Flip it over. Give the ramekin a jiggle and shake. It should plop right out. If not, give it a quick dip back in the hot water.
6. Adjust the ramekin to the centre of plate. Wipe off any residual water on your serving plate, before removing the ramekin.

To serve

1. Place berries over it or to the side and serve immediately. Panna Cotta will start to melt surprisingly quickly in warm weather.
2. What if the berries are sour? Crush 1/2 the berries with a little sugar, stir in the whole berries and then spoon over the Panna Cotta.

Tips

Other serving suggestions

Fruit puree, compote, chocolate sauce, caramel, dulce de leche, … I like it with a slice of my Lemon Slices Preserves In Simple Syrup & a little of its sweet-bitter syrup.

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