Remember my dark chocolate lava cakes?
Those were essentially goop (made with really fancy chocolate), dumped into ramekins and baked up into a warm, sultry, sophisticated dessert.
I have this fantasy that I am a super fabulous 20-something who is always entertaining -- the kind of person who invites people over to her stylish apartment for fancy dinner parties and wears sparkly flapper dresses and expensive bedroom slippers and totally rocks the whole thing.
I would have minimalistic flower arrangements and a tiny space -- it would all seem really put together and sophisticated without me "trying too hard." This is the kind of dessert that I imagine that I would make -- creamy panna cotta with raspberry preserves, super rich yet understated.
In reality, I'm in high school, my room often looks like a stationary store that was recently hit by a tornado (I can never bring myself to throw out any of my middle school English assignments), I eat an absurd amount of oatmeal, I have never thrown a dinner party (yet), and could never pull off wearing expensive bedroom slippers. But I can dream.
This panna cotta is delicious regardless whether you're a super fabulous 20-something serving it to your stylish guests or a 17-year old bedraggled high school student who eats it standing up at the kitchen counter as a study break.
It is a great example that a classy dessert doesn't have to be expensive, detailed, or stuffy. Rather, it can be minimal, elegant, and simple. It keeps in the refrigerator beautifully, and the ingredients are surprisingly simple. It can be served with fresh peaches in the summer, or with a blueberry compote in the winter. Panna cotta is fancy enough to serve to the President, yet simple enough to eat as an afternoon snack on a Tuesday. It's lusciously creamy and not overpoweringly sweet. Obsessed yet? I am.
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 (.25 oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the heavy cream and sugar. Bring to a full boil. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into six individual ramekin dishes.
Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. When cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before serving. Serve with fresh berries, preserves, or a sprig of mint.
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