Almond Panna Cotta
On our recent trip to Puglia, I’d have to say that our most memorable meal was in Otranto where we ate at L’Altro Baffo, a small seafood restaurant with a unique, contemporary menu. Although I was completely stuffed when dessert was suggested and planned to decline the very idea of eating anything else, when I heard almond panna cotta was on the menu, I was tempted to give it a try. I love a well made panna cotta and this one was perfection. Smooth & creamy with just the right wobble, it had a delicious almond flavor. It was served with a separate little cup of fresh strawberry coulis to pour on top and it was a delicious, light dessert that I knew I had to replicate at home. I had bags of wild blackberries in the freezer that I needed to use up, so I used them in place of the strawberry sauce. To replicate the almond flavor, I used both toasted almonds as well as some pure almond extract.
Here in Italy we use gelatin sheets or leaves, not powdered gelatin which I prefer, but if you need to substitute powdered gelatin use the equation below.
Substitution: 4 sheets leaf gelatin = 1 (.25 oz) envelope granulated gelatin = 1 tablespoon granulated gelatin
Deborah Mele 2012
Almond Panna Cotta With Berry Syrup
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Toasted Chopped Almonds
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
4 Gelatin Sheets
1 1/2 Cups Berries Of Choice
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Toasted Sliced Almonds
In a heavy saucepan, heat the berries, sugar and lemon and cook over medium low heat until thickened, stirring often.
Push the berries through a strainer to remove the seeds and set the syrup aside until needed.
Heat the cream, milk, sugar, and almonds until steaming, then reduce the heat to very low and let steep 15 minutes.
Strain the milk mixture and return to the pot and keep warm.
Taste, and add enough almond extract to get a full almond flavor.
Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the water and add to the pot.
Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
Pour the panna cotta into 6 ramekins or small glasses and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
To serve, if using ramekins, un-mold onto plates and drizzle with the syrup.
If using small glasses, simply pour a little of the syrup into each glass and serve.