Panna cotta and I have honestly never quite gotten along.
You see, just the mere mention of panna cotta has always conjured images of a rich, creamy and dense dessert- not quite the dessert I want to end a fantastic meal with.
But that all changed when I visited a friend’s new restaurant a couple months ago.
The restaurant pride itself on serving Indian-Italian fusion food. And while the mains- seafood marinara risotto, tandoori pasta and a trio of Indian curries and pasta- were fantastic as expected, I didn’t really expect to be blown away by was the dessert. By the panna cotta, in particular.
The panna cotta was smooth, creamy and utterly delicious, served with a side of berry sauce that cut through the richness of the dessert so perfectly.
All it took was one spoonful before I ordered a second serving of it.
So when I was watching a Masterclass episode of Junior Masterchef (cutest show ever, if you ask me) and Poh (of Poh’s Kitchen and Masterchef Australia season one) came on to show the kids how to make a yogurt panna cotta, I took it as a sign from the universe that it was time to make peace with panna cotta right in my very own kitchen.
As it turns out, making peace with panna cotta really wasn’t so hard at all. Just a little heating, stirring, pouring and setting and viola, panna cotta.
The smooth, creaminess of the panna cotta melded perfectly with the slight firmness and sweetness of the mixed berries jelly, with the yogurt making for a slightly lighter but no less delicious panna cotta.
So now that panna cotta and I have got our friendship firmly on track, I foresee making and eating plenty of panna cotta in my future. Never too late like the present to make up for time, right?
Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries Jelly [adapted from Junior Masterchef]
150g frozen mixed berries
50g vanilla sugar
3 gelatin leaves
300ml thin cream
75g vanilla sugar
225g natural-set yogurt
1 vanilla bean, split into half
1 tbsp honey
3 gelatin leaves
- To make the mixed berries jelly Heat the mixed berries, water and vanilla sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes until softened. Squeeze any excess water out of the leaves and add it to the mixed berries mixture. Stir gently to dissolve gelatin.
- Divide the jelly mixture between six 125ml capacity moulds and place them in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until set.
- To make panna cotta Place the cream, vanilla sugar, vanilla bean and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until warmed, remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes to infuse. Scrap the vanilla bean into the cream and discard the vanilla bean.
- Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes until softened. Squeeze any excess water out of the leaves and add it to the warm cream.
- Gently whisk the yogurt and vanilla extract into the cream mixture. Divide the cream mixture evenly among the prepared moulds. Chill the panna cotta in the fridge for at least four hours or until set.
- Place the panna cottas in warm water for a few seconds. Carefully slide a butter knife around the inside edge of the mould then invert onto serving plates. Serves 6