Light and showy and easy, that was the criteria for dessert as I searched through recipes last Thursday. We were having dinner guests on Friday. Menu: Eggplant Parmigiana with Homemade Meat Sauce, Autumn Bibb Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing and, of course, garlic bread. In Italy desert was always light, a light cake with a dusting of sugar, a cool and refreshing semifredo, and panna cotta! Yes, perfect! Panna Cotta! Easy, light and lovely. Beside the fact that this is an egg-free custard (apologies to my vegan friends it does thicken with gelatin), this dish makes you look like a culinary genius!
Vanilla Panna Cotta
adapted from Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook
Prep Time: 15 minutes YAY!
Chilling Time: 4 hours (Plan ahead!)
Feeds 4 (plus one, I always have extra)
1/2 Tbs gelatin
2 Tbs water (room temp)
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half with sugar and the vanilla bean
Bring to a simmer and then remove from the stove. Remove the
vanilla bean, split it open on one side and scrape the seeds into the half-and-half.
In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in water. Slowly pour the half-and-half
mixture over the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Pour into flan dishes and
chill until set, about 4 hours. Garnish with fresh berries in summer, or in winter, serve
with fruit sauce and a cookie.
Panna cotta by candlelight! Garnished with fresh raspberries and a sprinkling of dark muscovado sugar...makin' you look so good! Yum