Panna cotta, or cooked cream, the classic Italian dessert that so often makes people turn their noses up. In fact, at one point, I’ll admit, I also thought I didn’t like panna cotta. A spoonful of the over-sweetened, rubbery dessert is pretty much enough to put most off for life.
Thankfully – I gave it another go when I was in Italy a couple of years ago and was quickly converted! Since then, it’s been on my list to recreate at home. I’d been putting it off for so long, thinking it’d be a complicated endeavour, but actually, as with so much of Italian cooking, it was surprisingly simple.
And quick. So very quick! It’s as simple as heating up some sugar, vanilla, cream and milk then adding gelatin. And then you leave it in the fridge to set overnight and top it with blood orange jelly.
They’re the perfect make ahead desserts!
The secret to getting the creamy, silky, melt in the mouth consistency is to use as little gelatin as possible – so it sets, but only just. If you over do it, you run the risk of that rubbery, almost chewy consistency. And you don’t need that kinda negativity in your life. Trust me.
^ The sweet creaminess is perfectly balanced with the sharp winter citrus flavours.
Oh, so creamy! I really don’t think these pictures do justice to the light, almost custard like consistency!
❤ ❤ ❤
Creamy, rich, silky vanilla pod infused panna cotta topped with a layer of tangy blood orange jelly.
Do yourself a favour – buy some organic milk and cream and some good quality vanilla pods – it’s such a simple dessert so you really want to be celebrating the ingredients.
The red and white, perfectly layered are so stunning. ❤
Vanilla panna cotta
- 150ml whole milk
- 600ml double cream
- 2 vanilla pods
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 heaped tbsp / 12g powdered gelatin
Blood orange jelly
- 300ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about 6 oranges)
- 1 tsp caster sugar (optional, depends how sour your orange juice is!)
- 1 heaped tsp / 6g powdered gelatin
- In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in 3 tbsp water. Mix to combine then set aside.
- Add the remaining panna cotta ingredients to a medium saucepan, place on hob and gradually heat on medium-low heat. Stir with a spatula every minute or so.
- After 8-10mins the mixture will start to steam, soon after, you’ll see small bubbles on the edge of the saucepan, at this point, take it off the heat.
- Add the gelatin mixture, whisk well to combine then pour into 5-6 glasses / ramekins / moulds. [Remember to leave sufficient space for an orange layer later!]
- Carefully place the glasses in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight until properly set.
- The next day / when set, start on your blood orange layer. Add the gelatin to 3 tsp water, mix to combine and set aside.
- Heat the juice and optional sugar in a small saucepan till warmed through before adding the gelatin.
- Whisk well to combine before pouring over the panna cottas. Place in the fridge to chill and set.