Panna cotta is an eggless, Italian custard. The name means "cooked cream."
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 3 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let it stand for 1 minute to soften.
- Heat the gelatin-milk mixture over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a large saucepan heat the cream and sugar over medium-high heat until it just begins to boil, stir frequently.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the chopped hazelnuts and stir.
- Stir in the gelatin-milk mixture and the vanilla.
- Divide cooked cream mixture among 1/2-cup ramekins.
- Cover the ramekins with a towel and cool to room temperature.
- Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Before serving dip the ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water for a few seconds.
- Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin>
- Place a small plate over the ramekin and flip. The panna cotta should slide out onto the plate.
- Cover with your choice of topping and serve.
Toppings: Panna cotta goes well with many different types of toppings. It is more versatile than many flans. You can top with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a sprinkling of cinnamon and powdered sugar. A traditional topping is fresh berries and a sauce made from the berries.
To make a simple fruit sauce combine 2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves and 1 Tbs lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat and stir until melted. Allow to cool slightly and spoon over the panna cotta.