The winter holiday season is a great time to spend with family and friends with all of the exciting celebrations and get-togethers happening. At most of these events, food has a center point where everyone gathers as they eat and enjoy whatever dish there is. From centerpieces to side dishes, its important to keep things simple and efficient so you're not super stressed. Each of these recipes is an easy recipe to pull off, and will impress your guests!
One of the easiest desserts to make on your own from scratch is Panna Cotta. Italian for "cooked cream", this pudding has a unique texture that comes from a perfect balance of milk, cream, and gelatin to make it silky smooth and rich. Mostly just seen in fancy restaurants, these dessert can easily be made at home with little fuss!
The flavors I went with for this panna cotta are a favorite in our household: Mint and chocolate. Most of the family is a huge fan of mint chocolate ice cream. This takes those flavors and transforms it into an elegant dessert worthy of a celebration!
Recipe serves 5 people.
600 mL heavy whipping cream
150 mL whole milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 gelatin leaves (or 1-2 envelopes of gelatin powder).
1/4 cup fresh mint
Chocolate for grating
Crushed candy canes for a garnish
1) Bruise the mint with your hand or the back of a spoon to release the flavor better. Add into your cream, milk, and sugar (cream and sugar only if using gelatin powder) and bring up to a boil slowly.
2) Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water. If using gelatin powder, stir into your milk.
3) Strain the mint from the cooked cream, then pour into the milk while whisking (if using geltain powder only). Pour the entire combined mixture into ramekins or 6-8 oz. glasses (ramekins you'll want to turn the panna cotta out onto a dish, glasses look more fancy and don't need to be removed from their mold.
4) Transfer your dishes to the fridge and let set for at least 4 hours. You should have a slightly bouncy texture when touching the cream.
5) If using a ramekin, dip the bottom of it into some water to help warm the dish and release the panna cotta onto plates. Otherwise, simply grate with chocolate and top with some crushed candy canes, and serve!
This dish is incredibly smooth and creamy, which makes adding on garnishes like candy cane and chocolate great because it adds crunch. Additionally, the chocolate complements the panna cotta perfectly while the mint in the panna cotta and the mint from the candy cane cut through the richness to make this an awesomely balanced, elegant, and easy dessert!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)