Storified by ebanreb· Wed, Apr 03 2013 17:56:10
Panacotta is a very good example of a delicious dessert very easy to prepare at home, as it only requires the minimum of equipment: a stove and a fridge plus some plastic moulds that we usually call darioles. But any kind of individual ceramic or glassware dishes will do the job just as well. By the way, this is a gluten free recipe for those interested.
This soft and very creamy dessert comes originally from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. The main ingredient in this recipe being fresh or thickened cream, we have here a cold dessert with a fresh and very rich creamy taste. To this we can add almost any flavour we like, and for this example I have chosen one of my favourite, cardamom panacotta.
Here are the ingredients that we need:
Thickened Cream: 1600g
Cardamom Powder: 20g
Castor Sugar: 300g
Gelatine Leaves/Powder: 32g
To prepare please follow the method below:
First soak the gelatine leaves into icy cold water.
Combine the sugar and the cardamom powder together in a food processor or coffee grinder to make it very fine, smooth and well combined. This will make the integration into the cream easier later on.
Start heating up the milk and cream together in a thick saucepan.
When already warm fold in the cardamom sugar and stir a little to dissolve. Then keep stirring the mix slowly with spoon otherwise it could burn on the bottom very quickly.
Beside that, drain the gelatine(cuisinier loiseau)off of the water and squeeze out the remaining water, keep in a sieve on the side.
Bring the cream/milk/sugar/cardamom mix to a temperature of 85ºC (185ºF), (or if you do not have a thermometer on hand stop the heat before the boiling point).
Take off the heat, add the soft gelatine and mix well until dissolved with a big spoon or spatula. Do not use a whisk as we do not want any air bubbles coming into the mixture.
Pass through a sieve the whole mix and let cool down a few minutes.
Then fill up the lightly pre-spray-greased dariole moulds and reserve in the fridge.
Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
The next day take the panacottas off the moulds by passing first a wet kitchen knife around the side of the mould and place them straight on a plate. You might find the texture very soft, but this is the way it should be.
Last pour over or on the side some fruit coulis or sauce of your choice, then it is ready for digestion! Don't forget, your guests on a gluten free diet will love it.
I hope you will enjoy trying this recipe, and of course like the taste of this delicious Italian dessert.