Panna Cotta

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Literally “cooked cream” in Italian, this dessert is often described as the ‘perfect’  spoon dessert and though I hesitate to commit myself to this statement as I like to keep my options open – it is stupidly easy to make and tastes divine. Also, you can play around with different toppings for this creamy, delicious thing. If you like creamy desserts, this one’s for you..

Inspired by this recipe and faced with the few ingredients that you’re most likely to have lying around your kitchen (get some glycerin sheets for emergency dessert-making options) you can whip this up in a few minutes, but you’re going to need to wait for it to cool and solidify in the fridge before your sweet concoction magically turns into melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

You will need (this makes approximately 4 medium portions, pictured above I made 2 large portions in coffee cups and one smaller one):

1 1/2 cups milk + 1/3 cup sugar + 2 1/4 teaspoons gelatin + 1 1/2 cups cream

I found gelatin in sheets and after much searching I figured out that I needed to use 2 sheets for the equivalent of 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin. You will to soak these sheets in water for about 10 minutes before using, squeezing the water out before adding to your recipe. They look a little something like this after soaking:

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In a small skillet add your milk, cream and sugar and stir on medium heat for a few minutes. As soon as you see tiny bubbles start to form (before it boils) take off the heat and add the glycerin. Stir until this dissolves ( a few seconds). That’s it. You’re done. I promised that this would be easy, no? :)

Let your mixture cool slightly, then pour into the containers you will be serving your dessert in such as cups, small bowls, shooter glasses if you like..

When they have cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge for at least an hour till the glycerin has done its magic and made your dessert acquire a jelly like consistency. Cover the top with cling film to prevent drying if you are not using them on the same day.

You can serve as is (they are already good enough) but if you think that they look plain, add some fresh fruit or compote or chocolate sauce. As you might already know after this competition, I made a fruit compote for mine and heated it just before serving. .It made the panna cotta start to melt with an ambrosia-like result.

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