Chocolate Panna Cotta

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P

anna cotta, meaning ‘cooked cream’ when translated from Italian, is one of the Italian classics. It is a very popular dessert, not only in Italy but in many other countries worldwide. The secret might be in its delicate, creamy texture, or in the utter simplicity of preparing panna cotta. Its origin isn’t precisely determined; however, it is believed that panna cotta appeared in Langhe, a hilly part of the Piemonte, a region in Northern Italy at the beginning of the 20th century.

One of the greatest things about panna cotta, besides its ease of preparation, is surely its ability to transform. You can make panna cotta in silicone molds or even cups, and unmold it onto a plate. I like to make it and eat it directly from the glass. The classic panna cotta is vanilla flavored; however, you can flavor yours with almost whatever you like! Infuse some orange zest, anis seeds, cinnamon stick or mint leaves into the cream! I think that chocolate is always a great choice, so today I am making mine with milk chocolate, and you can use any kind of chocolate you like or the one you have in the cupboard.

Basic panna cotta ingredients are cream, sugar, and gelatin. You can use double cream if you are not afraid of fat content, but if you are concerned with the calories use single cream, or you can even swap half of the cream with Greek yogurt. I like to use regular white sugar for my panna cotta, but you can use honey or any other sweetener that will melt in the liquid. Regarding gelatin, you can use powdered or sheet gelatin (the same weight), and if you have never used gelatin before, take a glimpse at my post about thickeners.
Panna cotta is usually served cold, with fruit, caramel or chocolate sauce. You can easily make any of that at home. Take some fresh, seasonal fruit, put it in a pan and sprinkle with some sugar to taste. Cook until it thickens a bit and serve with your cooled panna cotta. I decided to serve my panna cotta with some lovely chocolate crumble.

Chocolate Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe

by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra

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Prep. time : 10 minutes

Cook time : 5 minutes

Ready in 2 hours

Level : Basic

Ingredients:

  • Cream (35%) 500g (2cups)
  • Milk Chocolate 200g (7oz)
  • Vanilla powder
  • Sugar 50g (1.8oz)
  • Gelatin 3g (12Tsp)
  • Water 15g (1Tbsp – if using powdered gelatin)

Chocolate Crumble

  • Butter 50g (1.8oz)
  • Powdered sugar 50g (1.8oz)
  • Cocoa powder 10g (2Tsp)
  • Almond flour 50g (1.8oz)
  • Corn starch 30g (1oz)

Directions

  1. Prepare five glasses (+/- one or two, depending on the size).
  2. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and set aside for a few minutes. If you are using sheet gelatin, you don’t need to weigh the water, just submerge gelatin sheets into a generous amount of cold water, and when it softens squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Heat up the cream with sugar and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. You can do this on a stove, or you can use the microwave.
  4. Melt chocolate in a bain-marie or a microwave.
  5. Add softened gelatin to the hot cream and sugar mixture, and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
  6. Pour the cream mixture over melted chocolate little by little. Stir well after each addition until you get a uniform mixture.
  7. Divide panna cotta mixture into prepared glasses and leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours, until cold and set.
  8. For the crumble cut cold butter into small pieces and sieve all the other ingredients into one bowl. With your fingertips rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you get crumbly mixture. Spread the mixture on paper lined baking tray and bake it for 5 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
  9. Just before serving sprinkle some chocolate crumble on top of your panna cotta.

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