It's the New Year and at the top of many resolution lists is healthy eating! And if not a resolution, it is a goal for many, self included, after eating rich foods and many sweets throughout the holiday season. But I believe in eating everything in moderation. So even as I aim to eat healthy most of the time, I do not like to completely eliminate dessert. I believe it isn't harmful to indulge in sweets occasionally, especially homemade sweets that are made from quality ingredients.
For those of you looking to keep it on the lighter side (and/or just looking to try out a new dessert recipe), I'm sharing with you a recipe for blood orange panna cotta. Sounds fancy, right?! It's an impressive dessert that's easy to make and delicious to boot!
Panna cotta, Italian for "cooked cream," is an eggless custard made with gelatin. Traditionally it is a molded, chilled dessert that can be flavored in many ways. As we are in the midst of winter, citrus fruits are in season, and I thought blood oranges would be a great flavor for this classic Italian dessert.
If you've never worked with unflavored gelatin before, it's really simple to use. It's easily accessible at the supermarket in the baking aisle. Usually it comes in a small box with four 0.25 oz packets of powdered gelatin. The first step is to allow the gelatin to soften in cold water or liquid. In the meantime, you can heat your cream, sugar and flavoring until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved. At this stage you add the softened gelatin to the cream mixture off the heat and whisk until smooth and all the gelatin crystals are dissolved (the heat is what activates the gelatin). If you find that they won't completely dissolve you can always return the mixture to the stove and heat gently without boiling until the mixture is completely smooth.
Once made, panna cotta must be chilled in molds or desired serveware for at least 4 hours before serving, allowing the dessert to be fully set. It can easily be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
This panna cotta is silky smooth and a great entertaining dessert! It can make a statement without the hassle of going through numerous steps or requiring much time to put together. Best of all it can be made ahead!Print