How was Christmas? Are you still full? Exhausted? Paper cut from all the unwrapping you did? Yup. Me too.
Now on to New Years Eve. (But I am so tired!)
Planning to party big for New Years Eve? I have no New Years Eve plans. Unless you call being cozy on the couch with Tim in our pajamas by 8pm plans. There may be some champagne. Possibly pizza or Chinese take out with left over Christmas cookies. Possibly this sinful Panna Cotta. Possibly me, asleep on the couch by 9pm.
I have been obsessed with Panna Cotta for several years. But not quite obsessed enough to take the time to make it. I have bookmarked at least 100 different recipes for it. I have salivated over picture of it. I have longed to try it. I imagined it to be a little like creme brulee without the crunchy shell. (For the record, my love of creme brulee runs deep, but I am usually to lazy to make that, too.)
Not that Panna Cotta is actually hard to make, as it turns out, but in my head it seemed a dizzying project to tackle. In reality it took all of 10-20 minutes for me to whip together and it was as pleasure inducing to eat as I expected. More so actually since it was so easy to make.
Since I have read so many Panna Cotta recipes in the past few years I had plenty of inspiration to draw from. This recipe combines some of the best aspects for several recipes. You will not be disappointed. And it impresses, too. Everyone I served it to loved it.
It’s classy and seems like a special occasion dessert, so if you are entertaining on New Years Eve you might want to consider it. I made 6 serving with this recipe but you could easily make it into smaller serving in cute little shot glasses and get enough for a whole party. Just the right, decadent amount for people when doing a lot of noshing. And if you top it with some white chocolate shavings and a couple of berries. . .oh man! I topped mine with a drizzle of caramel sauce and blackberries and it was perfect.
No doubt, I will be making other variations of this in 2012. I have been bitten by the Panna Cotta bug!
Brown Sugar Panna Cotta
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
Sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/2 cup milk in a bowl. Let the gelatin ‘bloom’ or soften in the milk. (about 5 minutes)
While the gelatin blooms combine cream, vanilla bean and seeds from vanilla bean, salt and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the cream mixture come to a scald. (Or just barely to boiling. When you see small bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan, remove it from the heat.)
Off the heat, stir the milk and gelatin into the cream mixture and stir well for several minutes so the gelatin has time to fully dissolve. Then stir in the Greek yogurt.
Pour the mixture into ramekins (or little shot glasses or fancy serving bowls or whatever else floats your boat.) Chill in the fridge at least 4 hours before serving.
To serve, you can dip the bottoms of the ramekins into hot water for a few seconds and then flip over onto a plate and it will slide right out of the mold and be the cutest little creamy molded dessert. (Or eat it right out of the cute little shot glass with one of those cute little spoons.) Top with a few berries, or caramel sauce, or both!