Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Easy Cocoa Panna Cotta

Nothing this good should be this easy to make, unless it has zero calories. Which it never, ever does. I found this at The Italian Dish, and pretty much made it as is. So great for company - I make it the day before, and it looks much more complicated than it is! I'm excited to experiment with different flavors! I had made another version using mango puree, that I found at Naina's Recipes, which has a slightly different process, using buttermilk in place of the milk and some of the heavy cream. My husband really liked that version too. I'm able to fill about 7 parfait glasses with this:

Cocoa Panna Cotta

1 1/2 c whole milk
4 tsp unflavored powder gelatin (if using the .25 oz packages, this is about 1 1/2 envelopes)
4 1/2 c heavy cream
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (can double it if you prefer it very chocolatey! I used Hershey's cocoa powder)
3/4 c sugar
 pinch of salt
Chocolate bars for garnish (optional but pretty!)

Pour milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Turn on medium heat and stir milk just until gelatin dissolves. Do NOT let the milk boil, at any point.
Add the cream, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the cocoa powder, and continue whisking until the sugar completely dissolves, which takes only a few minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool completely - it's helpful to pour it into another heat-resistant dish to speed up the cooling down process. Stir mixture frequently during cooling off period to prevent a skin from forming. Pour mixture into parfait glasses, ramekins, martini glasses, or whatever you'd like to present them in!
Cover and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 4 hours. I cover them using glad press n' seal.
For garnish, use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate curls onto the tops. I've also used sprinkles, for my daughters.

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