Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet Endings: Fior di Latte Panna Cotta

I have been wanting to make a specific ice cream flavor for quite some time.  So, I bought an industrial sized container of heavy cream from Costco.  I had all the other ingredients to create a flavor that I was convinced would be as good-- maybe even better-- than the Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream that I made a while ago.

Only I never made it.  Sigh.

I don't like to waste food, and Sticky, Gooey, Creamy Chewy's food blog solved my dilemma on what to do with all that heavy cream.  Susan created this "Flower of Milk" Panna Cotta recipe, and that was that. It would become dessert immediately. Panna Whatta?  This Italian dessert translates to "Cooked Cream". Think of it as an eggless custard-- a creamy, slightly sweet dessert that can be transformed into just about any kind of flavor that you like. Like ice cream.   I've posted one of my favorite panna cotta recipes that's served with a Grand Marnier caramel sauce and bruleed figs. Yes, it's fancy and oh so delicious.  This recipe is much simpler, and uses an ingredient that I happened to have on hand:

Orange Flower Water.  Yes, it's an unusual ingredient.  I found this at Trader Joe's, and it's a key ingredient to make a Ramos Gin Fizz (definitely not for children).

Susan's recipe could not have been easier-- to four cups of heavy cream, add 1/2 cup sugar and heat until hot, but not simmering.  In a separate bowl, sprinkle four teaspoons of powdered gelatin over 6 tablespoons of cold water...

Once the milk is hot, this is where you add your flavoring. Susan's recipe uses two teaspoons of orange flower water.  However, I wanted just a teensy bit more orange flavor, so I added 1/8 tsp of Pure Orange oil.  Perfect.

The hot, flavored heavy cream is added to the "bloomed" gelatin and whisked together...

...then poured into glass serving dishes.   Of couse, Panna Cotta can be poured into ramekins, and removed onto a plate for serving.  I chilled these, overnight-- and that was hard. Because I really, REALLY wanted to taste one. But, I resisted.  NOTE: What I liked about this technique, is that I did not use a water bath.  This dessert took about 10 minutes to make. Easy, peasy. I like that.

The Panna Cotta set perfectly, and I decided to garnish it with a few Mandarin Orange sections.

I served this dessert to my dinner guests, after we enjoyed a hearty dinner. It was perfect.

TASTING NOTES:  This is a really easy dessert to make. Can it be made with skim milk? I have no idea.  Half and half? Probably.  I have a philosophy about desserts like this-- indulge, enjoy, but don't do this every day.  To me, Panna Cotta is defined as "cooked cream" for a reason. If you have success with skim milk, please let me know.  As for flavor-- I loved it.  The citrus flavor was very mild....subtle. You knew you were eating orange, but it didn't overpower the flavor.  I am a big fan of custard desserts, and this is very creamy without being too rich.  If you don't have orange flower water, add vanilla.  I love eating Panna Cotta with a fruit coulis sauce.  But this is very refreshing. I'll have to experiment with a lemon-scented version.

I still want to make that ice cream flavor, and I shall.  Fortunately the heavy cream is finally gone-- some in mashed potatoes, and a few splashes here and there in pan sauces and creamed soups I've made.  The dessert looks impressive, and you don't have to tell anyone how easy it was to make.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.  Thanks, Susan



                       

                       









Pin It

22 comments:

Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

I am in a total awe of this. Can a fancy dessert like this be so easy to make? I have to try this! Thank you so much for this post - you gave me courage to make my first panna cota. :)

Valerie said...

For some crazy reason, I've only made panna cotta once. It's such a fabulous, simple, dessert that it should be made often, and with reckless abandon. :)

Yours looks luscious, I'm sure the hint of orange made it irresistible. (And I agree, panna cotta is an indulgence that's worthy of heavy cream.)

raquel@eRecipe.com said...

Planning to cook something and not being able to is quite sad, but a delicious and yummy one was created. =)

BF said...

That looks so delicious, and the photos are so pretty. They help represent your food so well!

mr. pineapple man said...

Yum! Thanks for the easy instructions! Will definitely try it!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

It may be easy to make but it would be hard to find a more elegant or appropriate dessert to finish up a hearty meal. I love recipes like this because a few berries or a little spoonful of a yummy syrup is all it needs. Bookmarked!

Kim said...

I'm definitely pinning this. I've been wanting to make panna cotta forever (never made it before). This looks super easy and very elegant. Plus, it's actually a dessert my son, who is allergic to nearly everything, can eat.

Deb said...

Such an indulgent, yet easy dessert. Very much like the addition of seasonal citrus, just fabulous!

Joanne said...

well, I suppose a trip to TJ's is officially on the menu for this weekend! This looks like the perfect dessert!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I just love the lightness of panna cotta, especially after a filling meal but you still want something sweet.

Kate said...

What a perfect ending to a meal. I love the presentation. I have to try this...simple sounds perfect, too!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You've made it so beautiful with the orange. Wow.
Sam

The Café Sucré Farine said...

I LOVE Panna Cotta -and this one looks wonderful! I love that you can add different flavorings and get a totally different result each time! I never get tired of it - thanks! Love your blog, this is the first time I've visited!

Chris and Amy said...

Simply gorgeous! And we love those pure citrus oils. Fantastic product.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your panna cotta is beautifully presented and the photo is enticing. I agree with you about eating this occasionally. Creamy desserts in moderation are most welcome.

Monica H said...

ooh, very pretty and I love panna cotta. I happen to have orange flower water and orange oil in my pantry as well as heavy cream in my fridge. I see this dessert in my future!

Katya said...

I will make is a must!

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Debby,
What a fantastic suggestion and it looks so scrumptious!
Cheers,
Lia.

Mary said...

What a perfectly lovely way to end a meal. This sounds delicious and it looks perfectly executed. I really haveto give this a try. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

Susan @ SGCC said...

I'm so happy that you found such a delicious use for your cream. Your panna cotta looks lovely!

Olga @ Olga's Flavor Factory said...

I think panna cotta is a perfect palate cleanser at the end of a meal. Panna cotta is so delicious....I love the creamy texture that just melts in your mouth but is cold and refreshing! Citrus is one of my favorite flavors in dessert too, so I definitely want to try this.

Roz said...

I"ve just gotta have some of this Panna Whatta Cotta! Sounds so refreshing, Debby! Great post!