Tuesday, December 25, 2007

SHF #38 - The Proof is in the Pudding! - Panna Cotta

SHF #38 - The Proof is in the Pudding! - Panna Cotta
Firstly, Merry Christmas to All! Its Christmas Eve and special thanks to Zorra of Kochtopf for her invitation to participate in yet another Sugar High Fridays. The theme this time round is Pudding. As many of the participants may post recipes on Christmas Puddings, I have decided to post an Italian Dessert which is easy to make and can be served at parties - Panna Cotta.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. An Italian phrase which literally means "cooked cream", it generally refers to a creamy, set dessert from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is eaten all over Italy where it is served with wild berries, caramel or chocolate sauce. It is not generally known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; however, sugar, a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavored with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled. Similar versions of this dish are also found in Greece and France.

Here is the recipe...

Panna Cotta (Makes 17 Shot Glasses)
600 mL Milk 600 ml
3 tsp Gelatine
150 g Cream
90 g Sugar
1 Tbsp Almond Essence (Optional)

Strawberry Jam, Sliced Strawberries.

1. Place 5 times the amount of gelatine of milk in a small bowl & sprinkle with gelatine. Allow the gelatine to bloom for 5 minutes.
2. Put the remaining milk in a pan with the cream & sugar & heat gently while stirring, until almost boiling (when you see small bubbles appearing).
CAUTION: Do not Boil or the mixture will overflow.
3. Remove the pan from the heat & whisk in the gelatine into the cream mixture until dissolved.
4. Stir in the Almond Essence & leave it to cool for a while.
5. Pour the mixture into the glasses & chill until set (about 4 hours).
6. Serve with strawberry jam and decorate with sliced strawberries.

Recipe By Samuel Chan
February 2007

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