Lighter Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
1 cup (236 mL) heavy cream or half-and-half
1 cup (236 mL) plain Kefir, yogurt or buttermilk
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or your favorite liqueur
pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons powdered, unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1. Pour cream, yogurt, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan.
2. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is steamy. Do not boil!
3. While the cream heats, combine unflavored gelatin and cold water in a cup. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
4. Stir gelatin mixture and vanilla paste or liqueur into hot cream.
5. Lightly grease ramekins or dessert dishes with a flavorless vegetable oil such as canola.
6. Pour panna cotta into dishes and refrigerate at least 2 hours, until set.
7. To unmold: set dishes in very hot water for a few seconds, until panna cotta easily unmolds. Do not leave in hot water too long or panna cotta will melt.
8. Garnish individual panna cottas with wild berry coulis, fresh berries or fruit, caramel sauce or chocolate shavings.
Pairs Well With
Panna Cotta will be the quickest, easiest dessert in your arsenal. Italian in origin, its name literally means "cooked cream". It is simple and elegant and easy to personalize with flavorings such as vanilla or orange liqueur.
Although we love full-fat panna cotta, I´ve learned that replacing half the cream with kefir, plain yogurt or buttermilk not only cuts the fat and calorie content in half, but it also makes for a lighter dessert.