Panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert and it translates to "cooked cream". You usually find panna cotta on many restaurant dessert menus but it's just as easy to recreate at home. And most importantly, it impresses people more when you made the dessert yourself. This dessert can be made a day or two in advance before a dinner party or a casual meal. Panna cotta comes in different flavors like chocolate, espresso, orange, coconut, and the list goes on.
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp.
1 vanilla bean, split
1 lemon, zested
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
a handful of fresh strawberries, quartered
Pour half of the heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, and the whole vanilla bean and its seeds in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer
Meanwhile, dissolve the gelatin with 5 tbsp. of cold water until you have a thick paste and let it sit for 2 minutes
Place the gelatin mixture into cream mixture and stir for 1 minute over the heat
Take the vanilla bean out and pour the hot cream mixture into the other half of the cream and stir until combined
Pour this into 5 (4oz.) ramekins and refrigerate for a few hours, preferably overnight
In a small bowl, mix the 2 tbsp. of sugar with the strawberries and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes
Place the ramekins in warm water for a few seconds to loosen up the edges and turn the panna cotta out on a plate
Serve the panna cotta with mascerated strawberries and top with a sprig of mint