Panna Cotta (which literally means “cooked cream”) is an extremely simple yet elegant Italian dessert. Many recipes call for infusing a vanilla bean or other spices into the cream prior to chilling. Other recipes mix rum or Marsala in the cream. Most often, it is topped with fresh berries, fruit coulis, caramel, or chocolate sauces.
Our version of Panna Cotta uses Rose Water giving this custard-like dessert a delicate floral flavor that can stand alone, simply garnished with toasted nuts, or for an extra boost of sweetness, drizzled with a mild flavored honey.
- 4 cups half-and-half (for a richer dessert, you may substitute heavy cream)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold Rose Water by Terre Exotique
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3 oz toasted slivered or chopped almonds (salted optional)
1. Heat the half and half and sugar in a saucepan on medium low heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Be careful not to allow the liquid to boil as it may cause gelatin to not set properly.
2. Lightly spray eight custard cups or ramekins with a neutral-tasting oil.
3. Combine the cold rose water and cold water in a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved.
5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, usually between 2-4 hours. You may refrigerate them overnight. (If you’re pressed for time, pour the Panna Cotta into wine goblets or martini glasses so you can serve them without unmolding.)
6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish with toasted slivered almonds.