Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lavender Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta's are one of the easiest desserts you'll ever make. The only thing you really need to worry about is what goes on top. You'll basically just make the cream base and then you can put whatever is in season right now as your topping. You can use blueberries, cherries, strawberries with some reduced balsamic vinegar and probably some mangoes too. I just bought a can of mango butter at Trader Joes and it will go well with some fresh mangoes. I think right now mangoes are on sale. You can chop some mangoes mix it with the mango butter and probably put some chopped mint leaves and top it on your Panna Cotta! Here's how I usually make the cream base.

What you'll need:

2 tbsp. of edible Lavender buds
4 cups of half and half
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 packets of gelatin (4 tsp)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. water

1. In a medium saucepan, add half and half and the sugar. Bring to a simmer (wait until small bubbles form on the side) and mix well. Add the lavender buds and the vanilla extract. turn off the heat and cover for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the 2 packets of gelatin and 6 tbsp. of cold water. Mix well.
3. Strain the cream mixture into another medium bowl to get rid of the lavender  buds. Mix in the gelatin mixture.
4. Prepare your ramekins by lightly greasing them. Carefully pour in the cream mixture to your ramekins and refrigerate overnight.
5. To serve it, Run a knife around the edges and pop it out on a plate. Top it with some berries or your favorite fruit. Enjoy.

Lavender Panna Cotta topped with Kiwi and aged balsamic

Lavender Panna Cotta with Mango relish

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