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Creamy Christmas Panna Cotta
With milk, cream, sugar and gelatin you can whip this recipe in no time. A simple yet elegant dessert perfect for the holiday season. Also this Panna Cotta can be made ahead!
So we are less than 10 days away from Christmas and honestly I have my Christas lunch menu planned in my head by now. This year is a little different, I am going to try out some new things and in turn kick start a few new traditions. Why am I telling you this? Because, this Panna Cotta recipe is one of those new traditions I want to kickstart.
This dessert is light, creamy and velvety smooth. Making for a very elegant and delicious post meal situation. The best part is you have to make it ahead so no fussing about around the kitchen at the nth hour. In turn making it a great make ahead dessert for your lunch or dinner parties. You can make the recipe up to 1 day ahead of the gathering and it garnish it as per your liking just before serving.
What ingredients do you need to make the Panna Cotta?
All you need to make a classic Panna Cotta recipe is milk, cream, sugar, gelatin and flavorings. I have used a combination of vanilla extract, almond extract and orange zest to pack in the festive punch. As for the milk, you want to use full fat here as its that richness that makes it creamy later. Same goes with the cream, I’ve used whipping cream and I feel it works the best here. Gelatin can be used in powder or leaf form. I have used powder as that’s what I had available but you can use either or. When it comes to flavors you can go crazy. You can substitute 1/4 cup of milk with brandy or any alcohol you like. I have made this recipe with a mixture of brandy, rum and coffee liqueur.
What substitutes can you use?
I have made this recipe vegan with almond milk, coconut cream and agar agar. If using agar agar, you want to reduce the quantity as it will make the mixture too stiff and we want a wobbly, creamy Panna Cotta. Agar agar is a good substitute for gelatin if you can find any as well. I have mad Panna Cotta using cornflour, but it takes a lot more patience to make and you won’t ever achieve that wobble. It would be more like a soft custard instead.
What equipment do you need?
A sauce pot and whisk is ideal to make the Panna Cotta. I like setting the Panna Cotta in individual glasses or pudding bowls so it looks pretty and perfect for a single serving. You can also set the Panna Cotta in a small bowl and turn it out once it has set. In order to do this, you must brush the bowl with oil to ensure it doesn’t stick later. Also once you have turned it out there is no moving so make sure you know the plate you want to serve it in.
How to make Panna Cotta?
We start by blooming the powdered gelatin in water, we heat this in a microwave for 15-20 seconds and set aside to firm up. The gelatin will soak all the liquid and become lumpy. In a sauce pot add the milk and let is simmer. Add the sugar, gelatin lumps and stir to combine until everything is dissolved. Take off the heat, add the cream, flavorings of your choice and pour into desired bowls/glasses. Leave at room temperature for 15 mins before transferring to the fridge and chilling completely, around 2 hours.
Serving & Storing
I like to serve the Panna Cotta with home made jam or some fresh fruit. A dusting of cinnamon powder or Christmas all spice works well here too. You can add anything you like just make sure not to overcrowd the glass with garnishes as it is a creamy and delicate dessert. Once the Panna Cotta is set, it can last in your fridge for up to 1 week. Make sure to wrap the serving glass with cling film when storing. You cannot freeze Panna Cotta.
Since we have talked about all aspects of this recipe, let us make this recipe now. You can watch how I made it here. Happy Eating Ninjas!
Creamy Christmas Panna cotta
- Sauce pot
- Serving glasses
- 1 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 1/2 cup Whipping cream
- 1/3 cup Castor sugar
- 3 tsp Gelatine powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 drop Almond extract
- 1 Orange zest
- Pinch of salt
- Keep your serving glasses/bowls ready. If you will turn out the Panna Cotta once set you need to brush them with oil, generously. Set them aside.
- Bloom the powdered gelatin in water, we heat this in a microwave for 15-20 seconds and set aside to firm up. The gelatin will soak all the liquid and become lumpy.
- In a sauce pot add the milk and let is simmer. Add the sugar, gelatin lumps and stir to combine until everything is dissolved. Do not over heat or boil the mixture.
- Take off the heat, add the cream, flavorings of your choice and pour into desired bowls/glasses. Leave at room temperature for 15 mins before transferring to the fridge and chilling completely, around 2 hours.
- Serve with fresh fruit, a splash of your favourite liqueur, jam or nuts.
- Let the gelatin bloom before adding it into the milk mixture.
- Do not let the mixture boil on the stove this will kill the gelatin.
- Be patient and let it cool down before chilling in the fridge.
- Let it chill for atleast 2 hours before serving.