Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, is in my view one of the greatest things to come out of Italy. Rich and luxurious with an irresistible wobble if done just right!
What’s not to love about a vanilla bean panna cotta? Unless you’re lactose intolerant, you’ve no excuse not to dive right in. Italy is famous for taking simple ingredients and combining them in a way that just sings on the plate. Panna cotta is no exception to this.
It’s just cream, milk, sugar, vanilla beans. That’s it! Brought to a simmer, combined with gelatin and allowed to set in a fridge. It couldn’t be easier to make and yet is just so gorgeous with fresh fruit like raspberries or strawberries.
It’s super versatile too! I once saw on Masterchef Australia (my all-time favourite cooking show) an episode with Massimo Bottura as a guest judge. I can’t remember which series it was! The contestants were split into two teams and were tasked with feeding a heap load of foodie guests really early on in the competition. One of the dishes they made was a basil Panna cotta with a strawberry soup. It just looked so fresh and spoke so loudly of summer. I must have a practice at that one.
You can infuse any number of different ingredients when you bring your milk and cream to the simmer. I’ve seen salted caramel panna cottas (also on the list), chocolate, strawberry and so many more! You can even swap out the cream with Greek yoghurt for an even fresher tasting dessert.
When to make vanilla bean panna cotta?
Despite it only being a few ingredients really, I find the best time to make it is when I can make it the cheapest dessert possible. Usually when our local supermarket has some double cream in the reduced aisle. You can make this for pennies that way and the low cost makes it taste all the better.
Anyway, if you’ve never eaten a panna cotta before, today is your lucky day. If you’ve got the ingredients, then dive right in! If you’ve had it before and are looking for a tried and tested recipe, then look no further! This one’s a winner every time.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
- 300 ml Double cream
- 300 ml Whole milk
- 85 g Caster sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
- 9 g platinum gelatin, about 5 sheets
- Combine the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a pan and bring to a simmer. Keep an eye and make sure it doesn't boil. Stir occasionally
- Soak your gelatin sheets in cool water
- When your milk/cream mix comes to a simmer, remove it from the heat.
- Add your gelatin to the milk/cream mix and stir continuously until dissolved.
- Pour the milk/cream mix into 4 ramekins and allow to cool to room temperature
- stick in the fridge overnight
- When ready take a sharp knife and put it over a naked flame to heat up the blade. Slowly go around the edge of the ramekins to break the seal between the Panna Cotta & the ramekin. Place your plate on top of the ramekin and turn it upside down. Give a small but firm shake and you should here a very satisfying sound from the ramekin as the Panna Cotta releases.
- Serve with berries and a freshly made coulis