Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote a.k.a Simple Simon

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The boy and I have always been the biggest fans of all things milk. The gallons of milk and yoghurt I have quaffed in the 26 years of my existence is no joke. Mommy dearest still maintains that all that lactose and calcium are the primary reasons for my stature and that genes had little to do with it.

So here you go. Six simple ingredients will now drive you to the easiest dessert I have conjured so far. The consistency is apparently not too easy to nail and I will now give myself a pat on the back for nailing it on my first attempt. 😀 This is quite an opportunity to make yourself look like an Italian dessert chef extraordinaire but trust me, even a paralyzed turtle can pull this off. Hmm turtle, may be not.. but you know what I mean.

Things you will need: 

  1. Heavy cream (I used Amul. I do not have a cow in the backyard. If you do, please feel free to ask her.)- 1 litre
  2. Sugar- ¾ cup
  3. Gelatin- 4 ½ teaspoons
  4. Water- ¼ cup
  5. Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon
  6. Mixed berries- 1 cup

How to go about it:

Step 1: The first step towards a fancy dessert is to transfer the cream to a saucepan along with the sugar and Vanilla extract. (“Cream and Sugar Mixture”)

Step 2: Bring the cream and sugar mixture to a boil while stirring continuously to ensure that the sugar is fully dissolved. Rather important to ensure that the sugar doesn’t caramelize. Keep the Cream and Sugar Mixture aside to cool.

Step 3: The next step would be to dissolve the gelatin in water. Mix the gelatin in the water in a small vessel. For that, boil some water in a saucepan. While the water is simmering, place the smaller vessel into the saucepan. This is to ensure that the gelatin is not directly heated. (I am told that mixing gelatin in boiling water is good enough, but I have always been a religious follower of indirectly heating gelatin for no real reason. :-/ If you do give the other method a shot, please do let me know.) Keep at the stirring to ensure the gelatin and water form a thin solution with the lumpiness kept at bay. (“Gelatin Solution”)

Step 4: Add the Gelatin Solution to the Cream and Sugar Mixture. Mix thoroughly. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. DO NOT let it sit there and set. (“Panna Cotta Mixture”)

Step 5: Transfer the Panna Cotta Mixture to pretty little bowls and shove them into the freezer. You may want to grease them bowls with a butter cube. (I was such in a hurry to put my face in the Panna Cotta that I omitted this step. This will help the panna cotta ease out of the mould and look nice and pretty on fancy plate.) In the freezer, the Panna Cotta will set in approximately 40 minutes. As soon as it sets, transfer it to the lower part of your refrigerator. Leaving it in the freezer for longer than it takes to set is not advisable for obvious reasons.

Step 6: Mix Berry Compote: Okay, this just sounds uber fancy. This is achieved by boiling the berries in three to four tablespoons of water with a teaspoon of sugar and maybe half a lemon’s juice. You have the option of adding a tiny piece of ginger and/or a quarter teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon. On boiling, the berries will be mashed and this my friend, is the Mixed Berry Compote.

Step 7: Once the Panna Cotta is eased out of the mould on to a pretty plate, spread the Compote and dig in.

I am positive that not one of you expected Panna Cotta to be this easy. Next time, I’m gonna improvise on this recipe and maybe make it fancier and yummier with a few new hacks that just popped up in my head, but for which you’ll have to be patient. Try this simple Simon out and thank me later. 😀

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