It’s the Season to be Jolly: Vanilla


I’ll be away for the next 2 weeks for holiday, but before I leave I would like to share another recipe – a family favourite! Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert, which literally means ‘cooked cream’. It boasts a simple yet rich vanilla flavour, firm enough to turn out of the mould, yet still silky enough to melt in your mouth. And I think ‘vanilla’ is one adjective to describe Christmas (yes adjective!).

It’s not true, though, that you have to turn the panna cotta out of the mould and serve it on a plate. I think it’s pretty dainty to serve this dessert in little teacups, plus it’ll be much easier to use your teaspoon to scrape every little bit off the cups!

This dessert also allows you to experiment with different flavours. If you like tea, you can infuse the cream and milk with any tea of your choice. I’ve tried making Earl Grey Panna Cotta, topped off with orange zest, and it turned out superbly! You can also use Chai tea, or even green tea powder!

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Makes 6 servings

PANNA COTTA

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup skim milk

1-1/2 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin

2-1/2 cups heavy cream (I use Dairy Farmers Thickened Cream, $3 a jar from Cold Storage)

1/2 cup white sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pour milk into a bowl, stir in gelatin powder. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, stir together heavy cream and sugar, set over a medium heat (At this point you can put in tea bags to infuse your cream). Bring to a full boil, watching carefully, as the cream will quickly rise to the top of the pan (If you have used tea bags, take them out now, and try to squeeze every little bit of cream out of the tea bags). Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

3. Let the mixture cool, stirring it once in a while to make sure the gelatin does not separate. Then pour into individual ramekins or cups. Refrigerate till set!

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