Sunday, September 07, 2008
The Perfect Panna cotta
When it comes to cooking, there are two things one should be very careful with. Deserts and simple recipes. While you can pretty much play around with the ingredients during cooking for other types of food, this is impossible for deserts. And the importance of ratios becomes more important if you have only a handful of them that define the taste. So a simple desert is actually the hardest to cook.
Being nothing more than milk, cream, sugar and gelatin the Piemontese delicacy Panna Cotta is an example of such desert, which I have been trying to cook lately. The trick, which I could not master yet is to get the consistency right. This has got to do with the ratios, the temperature, as well as the sequence of mixing the ingredients. Some restaurants employ the cheap trick of putting flour to get more consistency, but in the end kills the taste completely. The Panna Cotta should taste no more than sweet cold milk which happens to come in a solid form. Flour is a no go for Panna Cotta.
Here is a great post from tastingmenu.com which goes in great detail of explaining the chemistry behind Panna Cotta, and gives a good recipe. Give it a try, as I said it is very simple. Use strawberry jam, or better fresh strawberries soaked in Balsamic vinegar as sauce.