Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coconut Panna Cotta with Cointreau & Mixed Berries

Wonderfully rich in flavour and silky smooth in texture, Panna Cotta is a true Italian classic — and takes just minutes to prepare. Cream, coconut milk and sugar are placed in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, then vanilla and gelatin are added and simply poured into some prepared moulds and chilled for a few hours. This delicious island-inspired Coconut Panna Cotta can be served with some lovely fresh berries and a whisper of Cointreau drizzled overtop for a really simple and elegant summer dessert.

Coconut Panna Cotta with Cointreau and Mixed Berries
Serves 4

1 cup half-and-half cream

1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet powdered gelatin (about 2 1/4 tsp)

3 tbsp cold water
Cointreau and mixed berries, for garnish

Heat the heavy cream, coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Lightly oil four small ramekins with a neutral-tasting oil.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the gelatin into the very warm Panna Cotta mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take two to four hours, or let them chill overnight. If you’re pressed for time, pour the Panna Cotta mixture into wine goblets and serve them in the glasses, without unmolding. You can also make them up to two days ahead but keep them well-covered and chilled.

Gently pull the edges away on the each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish with mixed berries and a drizzle of Cointreau, or as desired.