Sunday, October 10, 2010

Strawberry Panna Cotta - and an All Dressed up Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Dessert... The final course of my 7 course dinner (but always leave em happy, I have an after dinner drink post coming tomorrow).  This was a huge hit!

In Italian, Panna Cotta literally means "Cooked Cream".  It is surprisingly light, similar in consistency to a flan (but no eggs).  With a hint of vanilla, it tastes surprisingly like a milk shake.  Resting on a bed of Strawberry Sauce.

I just love the look of this dessert...  The contrast of the stark white panna cotta and the blood red strawberry sauce is pretty.  But the panna cotta, when removed from the ramekin, has a smooth rounded look that is unusual.  Looks a bit like melting ice cream.

For my dinner, I knew to serve small portions, but seven courses is still 7 courses.  The penna cotta is very light  Much less filling than a pudding or custard.  And if you don't dip the sauce, it has little heft at all.  Remember, a really light smooth milkshake.  A perfect top to a big meal without weighing yourself down.

OK, this is two parts, the Penna Cotta and the Strawberry sauce... 

Here's what I did...

Panna Cotta
1 tbsp of gelatin powder
1 cup of light cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla

Strawberry Sauce
2 cups of strawberries
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

  • Combine 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder and set aside to bloom.
  • Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolved.
  • Add in the gelatin and continue to stir until gelatin dissolved. Add in vanilla.
  • Pour the mixture into small cups or ramekins, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate until set.
  • To remove, warm the outside of the ramekins in a warm water bath for just a couple minutes, will flip over easily.
  • For the sauce, Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook until the strawberries are broken down. It will take about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and run through a food processor to get an even consistency
  • Refrigerate the sauce to let it thicken.
  • Once ready to serve, drizzle the sauce over the panna cotta, or make a bed and rest the penna cotta on top.
And just that easy... 

But wait, there's more...

The chocolate covered strawberry is a nice little extra garnish for the dish.  The tuxedo look is very easy to do, just giving that little tiny extra that says you care how your plate looks.

First, melt the white chocolate carefully and slowly.  Do not scorch it.  I add a little bit of heavy cream to make it more smooth.  Just a bit at a time, as you do not want to make the chocolate too runny.

Carefully dry each strawberry before proceeding.  Dip just one side in the white and allow to dry completely.

Next, melt the dark, Dip each side and the back in the chocolate, leaving a "V" shape on the front... Like a shirt.

Either use a toothpick or a pipping bag to add the bow tie look.

Once you finish the first one, they get amazingly easy and fast to do.

Here are a few photos to give you a better idea...

I still have one more post to do from my 7 course dinner party.  No dinner is complete without an after dinner drink...

We donned our snuggies, and enjoyed a crisp fall Kansas evening around our firepit for mugs of Hot Chocolate and Banana Rum...

But that final post is a post for another day... See you tomorrow!



  1. Beautiful Dave. Love that little tuxedo strawberry! Still can't get over how good your photos are. I've always wanted to try a panna cotta and have just never taken the time. You've inspired me.

  2. Well I truly hope you're going to post a picture of you in a snuggie. Is all I have to say about THAT.

    I've never tried to make panna cotta but I really love it in general. This sounds like an absolutely delightful version and a great way to round out such a hefty meal!

  3. Your panna cotta looks wonderful...perfect choice after a big dinner. And the tuxedo strawberries are great! Hot chocolate and banana rum sounds like a winner, too!

  4. I've never had panna cotta!! Can you believe it? Yours has me wishing I had. Love the tuxedoed strawberries, too. Lovely dessert, if you ask me :D

  5. Dave, the tuxedo strawberry is the cutest thing ever!!

    That's great!

  6. Gorgeous panna cotta! And the strawberry with the bow tie...Fantastic :)

  7. A perfect ending to a perfect meal! Love the bow tie, too! Bravo, cher, very well done! Cheers!

  8. Hi there, I am a fellow Kansas City food blogger. Found you on the Foodbuzz Top 9, congrats! This panna cotta looks delicious! =)

  9. Congrats on the FB Top 9, David! Looks amazing!!

  10. Looks great, but was it difficult?