I was out to lunch recently with friends and had this fabulous dessert called Panna Cotta;
creamy, decadent, vanilla with carmel sauce and just plain perfect. I thought what a perfect
Valentine’s Day dessert for someone special. ( Don’t worry – one must always
and I mean always have a backup chocolate dessert ) So I went about finding a recipe for
this wonder. Food Network -no luck- All my cookbooks -no luck- Ask the Chef -no luck. Off
to Barnes and Noble to puruse their cookbooks and tucked amonst all the greats I found this
gem of a recipe in The Bon Appetit Cookbook.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Sweetened Strawberries
Be sure to refrigerate the panna cotta at least one day and up to two days, as this will allow
enough time for the hardened caramel under the custard to soften into a wonderful syrupy
1/3 cup plus 6 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise I’ve also made this with 1 1/2 t. of vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, sliced ( about 3 cups )
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
Place six 6-ounce custard cups on small baking sheet. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 2
T. water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally
brushing down sides of pan, about 8 minutes. Immediately pour caramel into custard
cups, dividing equally; tilt cups to cover bottoms evenly (caramel layer will be thin).
Cool until caramel is set.
Pour 1/4 cup whipping cream into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until
gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. Combine remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and
remaining 1 3/4 cups cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from
vanilla bean; add pod. Bring just to simmer. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture
and whisk until gelatin dissolves. Strain mixture into 4-cup glass measuring cup.
Whisk in buttermilk. Divide mixture among caramel-lined custard cups. Refrigerate
panna cotta uncovered overnight. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)
Toss strawberries and brown sugar in large bowl. Let stand until juices form, at least
30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Run small sharp knife between panna cotta and custard cups to loosen. Invert onto
plates. Using rubber spatula, scrape any caramel remaining on bottom of cups over
panna cotta. Spoon sweentened strawberries alongside and serve.
Maybe my new all time favorite dessert – Sorry Chocolate!
And if you were wondering it’s perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee, with cream,