On my quest this week to find the ultimate Valentine’s Day dessert, I happened upon an Ina Garten recipe on Food Network. Chocolate is always so popular on Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to find something a little different that packed the same WOW factor as all the decadent chocolate desserts plastering the pages of Pinterest over the last few weeks. This Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries recipe is a real show stopper. Having never made Panna Cotta before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The tangy sweet Balsamic Strawberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the rich and creamy Panna Cotta custard.
I’ve been eager to use these cute heart shaped ramekins that my daughter picked up from William-Sonoma a few years back. But if you don’t have heart ramekins any shape will do just fine.
Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries is the ultimate Valentine’s Day date night recipe!
1/2 packet (1 teaspoon) unflavored gelatin powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 pints (4 cups) sliced fresh strawberries
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to dissolve.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of the cream, the yogurt, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup of cream and the 1/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Off the heat, add the softened gelatin to the hot cream and stir to dissolve. Pour the hot cream-gelatin mixture into the cold cream-yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Pour into 4 (6 to 8-ounce) ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate uncovered until cold. When the panna cottas are thoroughly chilled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and pepper 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Set aside at room temperature.
To serve, run a small knife around each dessert in the ramkein and dip the bottom of each ramekin quickly in a bowl of hot tap water. Invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate and surround the panna cotta with strawberries. Dust lightly with freshly grated lemon zest and serve.
That little bit of grated lemon zest grated over the top adds a wonderful new level of flavor! I don’t recommend skipping that step.
Original Recipe Source