Let’s start from the beginning. Have you ever heard about the panna cotta? Have you ever tried it? If not, let me tell you all about it. The panna cotta is a timeless classic, but it’s actually somewhat of a modern invention. It goes back to the 1960s, although it might be over 100 years old, it just went by another name.
The thing is, the panna cotta is a straightforward, custardy dessert made with cream, gelatin and sugar, basically. And it is different from similar desserts because this one has no eggs. What it does have are the loveliest silky texture and the most gorgeous vanilla flavor, and that’s just the beginning!
The recipe for a panna cotta is so easy that you can build over it to create more exciting desserts. In this case, we’re flavoring it with coffee, and that alone elevates it to new heights. Get ready to meet the brunette version of the panna cotta, and this tanned beauty will surely swoon you off your feet.
Traditionally, you make panna cotta with heavy cream, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Still, I discovered that using a mixture of buttermilk and heavy cream renders a much better result. I’m talking about decadent richness and creaminess, and I’m not joking.
If you don’t have buttermilk in hand, because, as I understand, it’s not as readily available as heavy cream, just use the cream. If you do find some buttermilk, use it! You’ll love the result.
We’re also using two packs of gelatin. That for six ramekins of panna cotta. Make sure the gelatin is flavorless; that’s important. Finally, sugar will sweeten the panna cotta marvelously, and we’re using only half a cup. Panna Cottas are delicious because they’re never too sweet.
We’re using vanilla extract (try to use the real deal) and instant coffee for our flavoring agents. I use one tablespoon but, by all means, add a bit more if you want the coffee flavor to be more intense.
In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in a few tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the cream, coffee and sugar until steamy.
Add the gelatin and incorporate.
Add the buttermilk and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir while it cools.
Pour the mixture into 6 ramekins and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Serve once set.