Monday, January 21, 2008

My new favorite dessert

Is panna cotta easier to make than no-bake cheesecake? I've never made a no-bake cheesecake but if you weighed the factors I think panna cotta just might win. If you think about nutrition, versatility, time, dishes required, taste, and number of ingredients, panna cotta wins. Forget about no-bake cheesecake. Panna cotta just tastes better, looks better, and you can get really creative with it. I've never made an easier dessert.

Basic Panna Cotta
from Gourmet | August 1997

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine the water and gelatin and microwave for a couple seconds to soften the gelatin. Bring the cream, half and half, and sugar to a slow boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add gelatin and vanilla. Pour into ramekins and chill until set. Serve with berries or a reduction (balsamic, a jam, or I used Chambord)

Green Tea Panna Cotta
from Bon App├ętit | September 2006

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon matcha (green tea powder)

Soften the gelatin in 1 tablespoon of cold water. In a saucepan, heat the half and half and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the gelatin and then add the vanilla. Take a couple spoonfuls of the hot liquid and mix it in a small bowl with the matcha until it dissolves. Add this back to the pot. Strain the contents (which I didn't do but I kinda liked the settled powder on the top) and pour into ramekins and chill until set -- a couple hours.