Panna Cotta is that kind of dessert that you would expect in any Italian restaurant, it is a staple, a must, something that screams from the menu: “We are Italians over here!”.
Panna cotta translates to “cooked cream” in English. It is something that Debi and I like to share anytime we have the opportunity (the luxury) of dining out in one of our favorite restaurants. Debi likes it with a garnish of chocolate sauce, I personally prefer a berry reduction with a hint of liquor… this said, I always end up stealing some chocolate sauce from her plate!The traditional recipe calls exclusively for heavy cream, and the result is a real luscious and rich dessert that can make you feel guilty for days. However I have very often found myself wishing for a lighter texture… something a bit more elegant and refined. I substituted half of the heavy cream with whole milk, I lowered the amount of sugar and maintained the amount of gelatin to soften up the finished result. The result is a silky dessert that carries all the flavor of traditional panna cotta but is and feels much lighter on the palate. Because of the altered proportions of ingredients, you cannot mold this Panna Cotta the way it would be done in your favorite Italian restaurant, instead you will have to use a 4oz vessel (either stainless steel or mason jar) to serve your guests.
In this version of the recipe I do infuse my dessert with Lemon peel and Rosemary to produce a nice floral aroma, and I finish it with a Berry-Bourbon jam, BUT…
Try using Orange instead of Lemon and Mint instead of Rosemary, finish with a warm chocolate ganache (mix equal parts of dark chocolate and heavy cream) and all of the sudden you have a whole new dessert in your arsenal!