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How To Make Panna Cotta

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A rich but delicate Italian dessert, Panna Cotta is a Piemontese delicacy which is both versatile and easy to make.
What you'll need: 
250ml/8floz double cream
250ml/8floz full-cream milk
Vanilla extract
Fresh vanilla pod
2-3 gelatine leaves/5 grams gelatine powder
25-35g granulated white sugar
4 small ramekins
Mint sprig
Icing sugar
Place 250ml/8floz of double cream, 250ml/8floz of full-cream milk, 25-35g of granulated white sugar, a small dash of vanilla extract and the seeds of a single split vanilla pod into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water while the liquid and vanilla mixture is heating. If using gelatine powder, mix according to manufacturer's instructions.
Once the liquid has begun to simmer, drain the water from the gelatine leaves and add them/gelatine powder to the liquid. Stir thoroughly to ensure the gelatine is dissolved and evenly distributed before removing from the heat.
Allow the liquid to cool for a few minutes before pouring into 4 small ramekins and placing them in the fridge to set for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When ready to serve, hold the ramekins above simmering water for short while to loosen them from the side of the ramekins. Place a plate upside down on top of the ramekin before flipping the ramekin over. The Panna Cotta should slide out of the ramekin onto the serving plate.
Garnish with a mint sprig and fresh strawberries/raspberries before lightly dusting with icing sugar.
Panna Cotta is an ideal dessert for all occasions but particularly for larger gatherings as it can be pre-prepared without compromising the quality of the finished product. It can also be served with berry coulis if desired.
Use full-cream milk as it will add an extra level of creaminess.
Serve with slightly acidic fruits such as raspberries and strawberries as they will serve as a good counterpoint to the richness of the Panna Cotta.


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