Saturday, October 21, 2006

Italian Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis

Category: Dessert
Style: Italian
Difficulty: Easy
Portion: Serves 8

Strawberry Coulis
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, or use frozen
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lime (about 1.5 tbsp juice)
pinch of salt
Panna Cotta
2 cup homo milk
2.75 tsp gelatin powder (or increase to 4 tsp if you want to serve the panna cotta inverted)
6 tbsp sugar (=approx. 1/2 cup)
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups whipping cream

To make Strawberry Coulis:
Defrost strawberries if you use frozen.
Put all ingredients in the food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove solids. Chill.
To make Panna Cotta:
Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin powder on the surface evenly. Let stand 5 minutes to hydrate the gelatin.
Meanwhile, place 8 ramekins on a baking tray.
Put milk and gelatin mixture over medium heat, until milk is almost boiling and gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in sugar and salt until dissolved.
Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream into saucepan. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
Strain mixture into a large measuring cup, and distribute it evenly among the rameskins (about 4oz each). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.
To serve:
[normal] spoon strawberry coulis on top of panna cotta in ramekins. Garnish with mint leaves.
[inverted] Use a paring knife to loosen the edge of the panna cotta from the ramekins. Dip rameskin in hot water for 5 seconds, wipe dry, and then invert onto serving plate. Spoon strawberry coulis around. Repeat with remaining panna cotta.

Handle gelatin with care. If unsoaked gelatin is added directly to hot liquid, the outside of each granule expands instantly and forms a gel coating, preventing the inside from becoming hydrated. The center of each gelatin particle then remains hard and undissolved.
Also, do not add a spoonful of gelatin to cold water all at the same time. Because the gelatin will form a lump. The outside of the lump will also form a gel coating, preventing the inside from becoming hydrated. The gelatin with then remain a lump and undissolved.

No comments: