Now that the Christmas Holidays are over I’m thinking about the perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dessert. I watched them make this Panna Cotta with the kids on Masterchef Australia and it’s so easy and elegant.
Panna Cotta is a traditional Italian Dessert and is light and refreshing at the end of a meal. It would be perfect for that romantic Valentine’s Dessert and can be prepared ahead of time, even the day before, so there’s no fuss to get dessert on the plate at the end of the meal. And if you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your kids let them participate to make this dessert.
Just a few basics before we begin to make the Panna Cotta.
My original recipe came from Masterchef Australia and I’ve converted the measurements to US measurements for those of you that don’t use a kitchen scale. If you have a kitchen scale set it to the grams measurement and follow that. Your measuring cup will have the mL markings so use them when measuring liquids.
This is a multi-step recipe with time in-between the Raspberry Jelly and the Panna Cotta so that the jelly sets before pouring the Panna Cotta over it.
I find that unless you get the really thick Greek style yogurt that most yogurts tend to be really thin. Before I measure mine for the recipe I pour more than I need in my kitchen colander lined with a clean tea towel and let it drain for about an hour. Once this has drained use a spatula to scoop the thickened yogurt out of the tea towel. This gives a nice thick creamy yogurt for most recipes.
I’ve read labels and lots of web comments on grades of Gelatin Leaves. There’s a huge amount of information on grades being Silver, Gold and Platinum but when I look at the package details it all comes down to the weight of each gelatin leaf. Check the weight on your gelatin leaves. The package will tell you how many sheets and the total grams so just divide it out. If your package comes out to be an odd amount with the weight you can cut your leaf in half or it is better to use more gelatin than less so that it sets properly. I have a “Super Cook by Dr. Oetker” Platinum Grade Package that contains 12 leaves for a total of 20 grams so each sheet is 1.67 grams. “Gelita Premium Quality” happens to be the same but doesn’t say Silver, Gold or Platinum. And the total grams of the package is in a very small spot on the back flap.
When using gelatin leaves place them in a bowl of cold water and soak for about 5 minutes or until soft. With clean hands pick the gelatin leaves up out of the water and squeeze as much moisture as you can out of them before using. As soon as you put them in the warm liquid they will dissolve.
For the Raspberry Jelly, combine raspberries, water and sugar in a medium bowl or the bowl of a double boiler and place over a saucepan of simmering water for about 3-4 minutes or until infused. The liquid will have just turned lightly red and the sugar will be disolved. Don’t boil or cook too long, you want the raspberries to stay firm and fresh. Meanwhile, soak gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes or until softened. Squeeze out any excess water from the leaves and add to the raspberry mixture. Stir gently to dissolve gelatin.
Spoon 4 raspberries from the jelly mixture into each base of six 125ml-capacity plastic dariole molds or 8 ounce plastic or juice glasses. Spoon the raspberry jelly mixture evenly over raspberries in molds. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until set.
Once this has set prepare the Panna Cotta.
For the Panna Cotta, place cream and powdered sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. I use my double boiler for this step too so I don’t burn the cream. Remove from heat. Soak the gelatin in cold water about 5 minutes, until soft, then stir gelatin into the warm cream.
Gently whisk the yogurt and vanilla paste or vanilla beans into the cream mixture.
Pour the mixture evenly among the prepared molds. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
Place Panna Cottas into warm water for a few seconds. Carefully slide a paring knife down the inside edge of the mold, then invert molds onto a serving plates and gently shake to remove Panna Cotta.
Using a softer plastic mold or juice cup gives the sides a little give when removing to serve. If you use glass or metal for your mold just be patient and work your way around the mold to release. Let is set a little longer in the hot water if needed.
Yield: 6 servings
You can make these a day ahead of time for your romantic Valentine’s Dessert and before dinner unmold them and set them on the plates in the refrigerator until ready to serve.