Strawberry Panna Cotta

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trawberry season has began, yaaay! Maybe you didn’t know, but strawberries are my favorite fruit! So, today I’m making simple, yet delicious dessert – strawberry panna cotta!

What is Panna Cotta?

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’ when translated from Italian, and it is one of the Italian classics. It is a very popular dessert, I guess because it is not only delicious, but so simple to make! The origin of panna cotta isn’t precisely determined; however, it is believed that it appeared in Langhe, a hilly part of the Piemonte, a region in Northern Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, if you wan’t to learn more, or if you prefer chocolate panna cotta, check my extra creamy milk chocolate panna cotta recipe.

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

A Few Words about Strawberries

I have discovered quite a few interesting things about strawberries! For example, if the Encyclopedia Larousse Gastronomique is to be trusted, strawberries were cherished as medicinal plants even in ancient Rome, some two centuries before Christ, imagine that!
Fast forward to medieval times – alchemist were considering strawberries to be a “panacea” – universal cure for every illness! Until 18th century only available were wild strawberries, but then people started to cultivate and grow them in their gardens, so today we have no less than 103 species of strawberries!

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

BTW – when you think of strawberries I bet that the only color you imagine is red, right? Wrong! Apart from being red, strawberries can be yellow, blue, purple, white, and black! Well, not exactly black, you know, like a tar, but of deep dark violet color. Anyway-amazing, right?
Now, some more facts; strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside and every strawberry has, on average, some 200 seeds. They are the members of the rose family – so, don’t forget to stop and smell the strawberries at least once a day! :)
They are also very healthy, low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids. Did you know that strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges? Well, they do!

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

Now here’s a weird one – believe it or not – there is a fear of strawberries and it is called fragariaphobia! A fear of strawberries, imagine that!
And finally, there is this thing called “La Wépionnaise”! Ha! I got you there, haven’t I? Now, what the fudge is “La Wépionnaise”?

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

Well – it’s a beer, more precisely, a Belgian beer – made of strawberries! You see, there is a Belgian village of Wépion, and the people there love their strawberries so much that they have a museum dedicated to this lovely delicious fruit! And in that museum there is a shop where you can purchase many different strawberry products like jams, liquers etc. – and the strawberry beer “La Wépionnaise”! Now, as far as I’m concerned, a line has to be drawn somewhere, so I say – forget about the beer, and let’s make some yummy, sweet and delicious strawberry panna cotta!

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Pastry Maestra

Strawberry Panna Cotta Recipe

by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra

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Prep. time : 15 minutes

Cook time : 7 minutes

Ready in 22 minutes plus cooling

Level : Basic

Ingredients:
Strawberry Jelly:

  • Strawberry puree 115g (4oz)
  • Sugar 30g (1oz)
  • Gelatin 3g (1.5 sheets)

Panna Cotta:

  • Milk 200g (7oz)
  • Cream 35% 300g (10.6oz)
  • Sugar 60g (2.1oz)
  • Vanilla extract to taste
  • Gelatin 7g (4 sheets)

Tuile Cookies:

  • All purpose flour 30g (1oz)
  • Powdered sugar 30g (1oz)
  • Egg whites 30g (1oz)
  • Butter, melted 30g (1oz)

Directions:

  1. To make strawberry jelly soak gelatin in cold water. As soon as the gelatin softens, take it out and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Put strawberry puree into a bowl, add sugar and stir with a whisk. Heat up this mixture in the microwave. When the puree is hot, add soaked gelatin and stir until it melts.
  2. Line 15cmx15cm (6″x6″) square pan with plastic foil. Pour the jelly into the mold, and shake the mold to distribute the jelly evenly. Put it in the fridge for about one hour, until it sets.
  3. When the jelly is set, cut out heart shapes using a small heart shaped cutter.
  4. Prepare 4-6 glasses, depending on the size. Stick your jelly hearts onto the insides of your glasses, and put one heart at the bottom of each glass. Put them in the fridge while you make panna cotta.
  5. To make panna cotta soak gelatin in cold water. As soon as the gelatin softens, take it out and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Put milk into a measuring cup, add sugar and vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Heat up this mixture in the microwave. When the milk is hot, add soaked gelatin and stir until it melts. Then slowly add cold cream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Leave this mixture to cool down a bit.
  6. When the mixture is lukewarm, carefully pour it into the glasses. Make sure that your panna cotta isn’t too hot when you pour it, because it will melt your strawberry jelly! Put your glasses in the fridge for a couple of hours, until panna cotta sets completely.
  7. Put the remaining strawberry jelly into a measuring cup, and heat it up in the microwave on low heat until it melts. Be careful not to boil your jelly! When the jelly is melted and lukewarm, pour it onto the set panna cotta. Put your glasses back in the fridge until the jelly sets again.
  8. To make tuile cookies put sifted flour, sifted powdered sugar, melted butter, and egg whites into a bowl. Mix with a whisk until you get uniform mixture.
  9. Put half a teaspoon of the mixture onto a paper lined baking tray, and spread it with a back of the spoon into a form of a small ellipse. Repeat the procedure until you fill the tray. Then, I’ll bake them at 180°C (350°F) for about 5-6 minutes, until golden around the edges.
  10. When tuile cookies are done, and they are still hot, transfer them into a baguette mold, and leave them to cool down like that. Once cooled, they will keep their curved shape. Instead of baguette mold, you can also use your rolling pin to create curved shape of your tulies.
  11. To decorate your panna cotta, first sprinkle some chopped pistachios onto the strawberry jelly. Then, stick two tuile cookies into the jelly. Finally, place one strawberry on the top.
  12. There, your delicious strawberry panna cotta is done! Enjoy!

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