Hey Friends! Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, which means that love is in the air. 😊 ❤️ What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year than with this incredible Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce, a dessert that positively oozes romance? In this special blog post, you’re to be whisked away on a journey to create this absolutely sensational dessert. It’s so simple, you might not believe me when I tell you that it’s one of the most decadent things I’ve ever eaten.
Picture this: a candlelit dinner, soft music playing in the background, and the exquisite taste of homemade Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce, shared with your special someone. So, let’s dive into the art of crafting a dessert that will make your Valentine’s Day truly unforgettable.
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna Cotta, the silky Italian dessert that has become synonymous with romance, boasts a history as rich and smooth as its texture. Originating from the picturesque regions of Northern Italy, particularly Piedmont, this iconic treat’s roots can be traced back to the early 20th century.
The name “Panna Cotta” translates to “cooked cream” in Italian, reflecting its essential ingredients and preparation method. The dish likely evolved from traditional Italian custards, with a distinctive twist that sets it apart.
The dessert’s velvety consistency and delicate flavor soon captured the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. Panna Cotta became a staple in romantic dinners and special occasions, celebrated for its ability to evoke a sense of indulgence and sophistication.
As the years passed, Panna Cotta continued to evolve, with chefs experimenting with diverse ingredients and artistic presentations. Today, it stands as a symbol of love and romance, gracing tables on Valentine’s Day and other amorous celebrations. With its decadent allure and timeless charm, Panna Cotta remains a dessert that sweetens the most intimate moments in the tapestry of culinary history.
Panna Cotta Ingredients
- Heavy Cream: Choose the richest heavy cream you can find. You’re aiming to melt your person’s heart with a velvety texture.
- Sugar: The sweetness from this dessert comes from granulated sugar.
- Gelatin: Gelatin is the magic ingredient that creates panna cotta’s trademark silky-smooth consistency. Let it work its charm and bring your dessert to life.
- Vanilla Bean or Extract: Vanilla bean truly elevates the flavor profile of this super simple dessert. You can also opt for pure vanilla extract if you’re unable to source vanilla beans.
- Strawberry Sauce (optional, but highly recommended): Friends, I added The Best Strawberry Sauce to the blog a while ago, and it pairs perfectly with this delectable dessert. It adds a beautiful burst of color and acidity to your panna cotta.
How to Make this Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce
Step 1: Bloom the Gelatin
Begin by blooming the gelatin in cold water or milk. This sounds difficult, but it simply means to pour the gelatin in a single layer over the cold liquid, and allow it to soften and prepare for its starring role in your panna cotta.
Step 2: Warm the Cream, Vanilla Beans, Vanilla Bean Pod, Salt, and Sugar
In a saucepan, gently warm the heavy cream, vanilla bean (making sure to scrape all of those gorgeous beans out of the pod!), the vanilla bean pod, the salt, and the sugar over medium heat. Watch it carefully and warm it only until the sugar and salt dissolve. You do not want this to come to a boil, but you want to make sure there are no solids in your panna cotta.
Step 3: Incorporate the Bloomed Gelatin
Introduce the bloomed gelatin into the warm cream. Stir *gently* until the gelatin dissolves completely,
Step 4: Pour into Molds (or Heat-Proof Containers, Like Yogurt Jars or Ramekins)
Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into molds, and get ready for the hard part. The wait.
Step 6: Chill
Place the molds in the refrigerator and let your Panna Cotta set for at least four hours, but preferably overnight. I promise, Friend, that this dessert is worth the wait.
Step 7: The Grand Reveal
You can either unmold the panna cotta onto serving plates, or you can serve it right in the cute container. Either way, it’s a beautiful sight to see. To unmold, simply put the panna cotta into a small bowl with warm water to loosen the mold for about thirty seconds, then turn the mold over onto a dessert plate. It’s so impressive when done correctly, but you want to practice this before the big reveal.
The Strawberry Sauce
Once your panna cotta is done, you can add your strawberry sauce straight to the top. Use a little or a lot; that part is up to you! This strawberry sauce adds the perfect touch of tartness to this beautifully sweet dessert.
This Strawberry Sauce is the quintessential dessert topping that transforms a simple Panna Cotta into a symphony of sweetness. Crafted from ripe, succulent strawberries, this ruby-red elixir captivates with its vibrant hue and intoxicating aroma.
The sauce begins with handpicked (or, if you live in a frozen tundra like me, frozen!) strawberries, bursting with natural sweetness and a hint of tartness. Meticulously simmered to perfection, the strawberries form a velvety concoction that promises to elevate your panna cotta.
As you spoon the strawberry sauce over the completed Panna Cotta, it cascades like a ruby waterfall, creating a tantalizing visual masterpiece. Each bite is an amazing dance of creaminess and fruity flavor, as the sauce imparts its fresh, sun-kissed essence to the silky canvas of the dessert.
Once you’ve done these steps, you get to step back and realize what you’ve just done. You will have just crafted a delicious, simple panna cotta with strawberry sauce that’s destined to become a cherished memory. As you and your special someone indulge in this romantic dessert, may your Valentine’s Day be filled with joy, connection, and the sweetness of shared moments. Here’s to love, laughter, and the delightful journey of creating unforgettable memories together. Happy Valentine’s Day!Print
For the Panna Cotta:
- 32 g (1/4 c) milk or water
- 2 g (1/3 tsp) powdered gelatin
- 250 g (1 c) heavy cream
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 25 g (1/8 c) granulated sugar
For the Strawberry Sauce:
- 454 g (1 c) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 100 g (1/2 c) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
To Make the Panna Cotta:
- Place the powdered gelatin in a single layer over the milk or water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow it to bloom.
- While the gelatin is blooming, place the heavy cream, salt, vanilla beans, vanilla bean pod (or pure vanilla extract, if using), and granulated sugar into a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the solids are dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Once the solids are dissolved, add the gelatin mixture and stir very gently to combine. Place in two heat-proof containers (e.g. ramekins or yogurt containers) and place in a refrigerator for at least four hours (but preferably overnight).
- You can either unmold your panna cotta or you can serve directly from the containers. To unmold, place the panna cotta container in a bowl of warm water, being careful not to get water in the panna cotta. Keep the panna cotta in the warm water for about thirty seconds, then turn over on a dessert plate and carefully lift the mold.
- Add the strawberry sauce (if desired, technique below), and enjoy!
To Make the Strawberry Sauce:
- Add strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and salt to a small saucepan.
- Stir to coat strawberries with the sugar.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a low simmer.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the strawberries are softened and the sauce has reduced (thickened).
- Remove from heat when the thickened sauce coats the back of your cooking spoon (and doesn’t drip!).
- If desired, use an immersion blender to gently create a smooth sauce.
- Allow to cool for ten minutes, then place in a heat-proof container. Allow to cool completely before adding to the panna cotta.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Refrigeration Time: 4-24 hours
- Cook Time: 15-17 minutes
- Category: Dessert
Keywords: panna cotta, panna cotta with strawberry sauce