Panna cotta sounds elegant and difficult, but it’s only one of those things. Unlike its more temperamental cousin, custard, it doesn’t need monitoring. As long as you soften the gelatin in cold water, then stir it into hot cream until it dissolves, its really just a matter of waiting until it sets in the fridge.
And once you know that the gelatin does all the heavy lifting, it’s hard not make panna cotta a habit. Especially since the variations are seemingly endless. There’s a multitude of recipes out there, with variations on flavour, presentation, and accompaniments.
This version was particularly refreshing at the end of a hot day. Dorie layers vanilla panna cotta atop a mango and lime purée. Eating it made me feel like I’d been transported to a tropical hotel. Looking at it made me feel like running over to Gourmet Warehouse and picking up some glass ramekins or tiny Weck jars.
I love my ramekins – they’re pretty and they’ve served me well. But, they’re totally wrong for presenting this dessert. It’s meant to be admired even before you spoon into it. I
probably don’t need more ramekins, so next time I make this, I’ll unmold the panna cotta onto a plate and garnish it with a generous amount of the purée. Or, I could go shopping, ignoring the fact that I live in a small apartment and I have a very long wish list of kitchen items.
They were fantastic, but I’m afraid to make them again, as they might disappear before I share them with anyone else.
You can find the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie crew’s entries on this recipe here: Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta.