The literal translation of panna cotta from Italian is “cooked cream”. In fact the name explains it very well: this delicious dessert is made by heating cream, milk and sugar and adding gelatin for thicker consistence.
I am not a lover of jelly sweets, but it is difficult someone not to like panna cotta. It goes well with chocolate topping or with a nice fruit jam. For my first experience I added chocolate in half of the the panna cotta and used my mom’s fantastic homemade morello cherry jam as a topping. So basically I got it all in one 🙂
Normally the gelatine should be added to the already heated milk, cream and sugar and dissolved with a constant stirring. I decided to do the whole process over shimmering water, to avoid any slight chance the gelatine not to get dissolved completely (this is because gelatine should not be heated directly on the fire).
The recipe is quite simple, so if you are expecting guests and you want to impress them with a relatively light homemade dessert, panna cotta is the right choice.
400 ml heavy cream
400 ml milk
6 tbs white sugar
30 g milk chocolate
15 g gelatine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
morello cherry jam
Soak 7 g gelatine in 20-30 ml cold water and let stay for 5-10 minutes. The gelatine should absorb the water completely and become soft.
In a bowl combine 200 ml cream, 200 ml milk, 3 tbs sugar and vanilla extract. Place the bowl over a pan with gently shimmering water. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces, and whisk again until dissolved. Finally add the gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Pour the panna cotta into glasses or cups, half-filling them. Cover each cup with plastic wrap. Let cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours until firm.
Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the gelatine, cream, milk, sugar and rum extract. When the second batch of panna cotta is ready, pour it in the glasses/ cups of already firm first batch. Cover again with plastic wraps. Let stay in the fridge for 5-6 hours or overnight.
Depending on the type of cups used, the panna cotta can be served in two ways which I have presented both in the pictures. If it is in high glasses, just pour some morello cherry jam on top and serve directly in the glass. If it is in ramekins, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate and spoon over the jam.