Larissa Raphael’s Buttermilk Panna Cotta recipe was used to test the qualities of the different vanilla beans. Photo by Saidi Granados | THE NIBBLE.
Vanilla: The World’s Favorite Flavor
Page 8: Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe
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Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe
Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian; the dessert hails from the Piemonte (Piedmont) region of Northern Italy. Many people liken panna cotta to crème brulée because both puddings are thick with a firm texture, However, crème brulée is a custard, made with egg yolks, which color, flavor and thicken the pudding. (It also has a caramelized sugar top, the “brulée.”) Panna cotta is a pudding that is thickened with gelatin; as opposed to custard’s rich, yellow color, panna cotta is as white as the cream it is made with.
Larissa Raphael’s recipe is a classic with a twist: she adds buttermilk for extra richness. You can find recipes for flavored panna cotta (chocolate, coffee, etc.). The pudding is served with berries and a fruit coulis, or caramel or chocolate sauce.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 ¾ gelatin sheets
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Garnishes: fresh berries, mint
- 2-1/2 cups fresh berries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
One bite, and you’ll know why panna cotta has so many fans. Photo by Saidi Granados | THE NIBBLE.
- Combine cream, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a small saucepan.
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the inside with the back of a knife. Add both the vanilla bean and its contents to the liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, being careful not to scorch the cream.
- Meanwhile, place the gelatin sheets in bowl of cold water to bloom (they should feel like a wet plastic bag when ready for use).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the bloomed gelatin and add to the cream mixture. Stir constantly until the gelatin dissolves. Transfer the hot cream mixture to a bowl and place over an ice bath until warm.
- Shake or mix the buttermilk for even consistency and place in another bowl. Strain the cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the buttermilk. (Save the whole vanilla bean and rinse for another vanilla infusion, or grind it for use in other vanilla recipes.)
- Mix the cream mixture and buttermilk together, using an immersion blender.
- Spray the serving dish or individual 4-ounce disposable aluminum cups with non-stick spray. Pour the panna cotta liquid into the vessel(s).
- Place on a level surface in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until fully set. Remove from aluminum cups by inverting onto the serving plate and gently inserting a sharp knife horizontal to the bottom. The panna cotta should slide out after knife release.
- Purée berries with sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract the maximum amount of liquid.
- Garnish as desired.
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