Rose Panna Cotta with Grenadine Syrup and Crunchy French Pralines
Panna cotta is a very easy recipe. It is as versatile as crème brulée or pot de crème. The base is just a dairy with a gelling agent like agar or gelatin. You can create your own signature version by adding your own twist to it. You can use different flavors like rose, strawberry, pandan, peppermint, mocha or any other savory flavor that you can imagine. It is a true culinary chameleon.
Yields: 61 cup heavy cream
3 cups half and half
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
2 tsp rose paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tsp agar agar
4 Tbs grenadine syrup
2 Tbs peanut pralines, coarsely crushed
In a small bowl, dissolve the agar agar in the water. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the powdered sugar, half and half and the remaining heavy cream. Bring to a near boil. Immediately add the dissolved agar cream mixture and whisk constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and the rose paste.
Pour the liquid into mini ramekins. When the liquid is firm, plastic-wrap each glass and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or overnight.
Remove panna cotta from the refrigerator. Depending on what presentation you'd like, dip the bottoms of the glasses into a warm water bath for a few seconds. Turn out the panna cotta forms onto serving plates or serve directly in the glasses. Drizzle the panna cotta with grenadine syrup. Decorate with crushed pralines.
Grenadine syrup is a sweet, red thick syrup made from pomegranate. It's farily common in France but not so available in the US. I'm lucky that my local market carries it. Grenadine syrup is optional, I just like the additional of a fruity strong taste to the panna cotta. If you decide not to add a syrup, increase the amount of sugar to the panna cotta.
Montargis pralines are a French specialty. The story behind them is that the Duke of Praslin invented the treat as a means to seduce women in the royal court. Pralines are nuts that are coated with suagr then caramelized. You can pair them with many savory dishes such as duck by adding them into the glaze.
I picked a combination of half and half and heavy cream but you can add any dairy that you prefer if you want a creamier or tart flavor like crème fraîche, buttermilk or milk if you're health conscious.
While waiting for the milk and cream to boil, you have to be very careful. Don't go anywhere else. If the phone rings or someone's at the door, let it be. You gotta focus on your milk and cream otherwise you'll be cleaning your stove and scraping the burnt milk all night long. As soon as some bubbles come up, remove from the stove.
Agar agar powder is a good gelatin substitute for vegans and vegetarians. It is derived from seawood and is cooked the same way you would use gelatin powder. It is widely used in Asia.
You can also use different shaped molds for the panna cotta to craete a different aesthetic, like the one for my Vietnamese jello cake.
You can also tilt the glasses to have the product set at an angle like I did for my savory panna cotta. Slightly tilt the glasses to get the pretty effect, then you can fill it with a red color fruit jello into the glass and top it with crunchy pralines. I use my 4-year-old sister-in-law's legos to tilt and hold the glasses.
Wait until the liquid cools down completely before refrigerating the dessert. They should be a little jiggly. Refrigerating them for at least 2 hours helps create a firmer consistency.
Published By: on April 16, 2009.