Panna Cotta is famous for its creamy texture but light and mild flavor. Also, unlike other heavier Italian desserts, this one is a quick-fix, and does not mess up your weighing scale much. It is very simple to make, and you can add any flavored extract that you like to suit your taste-buds. The recipe below is adapted from an original Whole Foods recipe, where I use coconut extract instead of plain vanilla to add a subtle flavor to the pudding. I love the addition of buttermilk, because it increases the smoothness of the dessert, as well as balances the sweet taste. And a topping of Berries will never go out of fashion – it adds color, style, flavor and elegance, all in one go! Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one, and finish your special meal with a light yet creamy dessert that is most easy to pull off. [Photo courtesy: Whole Foods]
Coconut Panna Cotta with Berry Topping
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon coconut extract (or any other flavor)
3 cups mixed berries
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand until gelatin has softened, about 15 minutes.
Combine 1 cup of the cream and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and cream starts to simmer. Remove from heat immediately. Add dissolved gelatin to hot cream, stirring until gelatin melts completely.
In a large bowl, combine remaining cream, buttermilk and coconut extract. Stir in hot cream-gelatin mixture. Divide mixture among eight ramekins. Refrigerate until Panna Cotta has set, several hours or overnight.
Just before serving, place berries in a mixing bowl. Add lemon zest and juice and sugar and gently toss ingredients until sugar dissolves.
To unmold, dip the base of each ramekin in a bowl of very hot water for 30 seconds. Invert a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip over. The panna cotta should slide out easily. Spoon mixed berries and their juices around panna cotta and serve.