I don’t care much for sweets but I do thoroughly enjoy a good panna cotta, creme brulee and cheesecake every so often. Notice a pattern here? Maybe it’s just the silky velvety consistency that I’m drawn too. It really doesn’t get smoother than panna cotta. Traditionally made with cream, milk, sugar and gelatin this time I went for panna cotta with a twist – the twist being creme fraiche (which I recently discovered when making a Valentine’s Day creme fraiche cheesecake). The result – a denser richer panna cotta than the standard but one that pairs perfectly with an airy strawberry mousse and strawberry puree. I’ve made panna cotta dozens of time since Daring Bakers first introduced me to it and I’ve noticed that going lighter on the gelatin and omitting honey produces the wibbly wobbly delicate panna cotta, whereas honey in place of almost all the sugar yields a slighter richer and less fragile dish, and the addition of the creme fraiche creates an even more solid dessert with a slightly tangy taste. Overall a delicious and sophisticated looking dessert.
A silky smooth velvety dessert
1 hrPrep Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/3 cup creme fraiche
- For the strawberry mousse::
- 1 cup strawberry puree (about 8 ounces strawberries)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- For the strawberry puree::
- 1/3 cup strawberry puree (about 3 ounces strawberries)
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- Panna Cotta: Add 1 tablespoon cold water to a bowl and evenly sprinkle 1 teaspoon gelatin over the water to allow it to bloom. In a pot combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla, over medium heat bring to almost boiling, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat. Add cream mixture to the gelatin and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture to remove the vanilla bean solids and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the creme fraiche and whisk until smooth. Pour panna cotta evenly into 4 glasses or ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Strawberry Mousse: In a separate bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon cold water. In a pot heat 1 cup strawberry puree with 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the gelatin, whisking until dissolved - let cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the strawberry puree using a plastic/rubber spatula. Pour mousse evenly over the 4 panna cotta glasses, using a spoon to even it out. Refrigerate.
- Strawberry Puree: Add strawberry puree and sugar to a pot and over low heat stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and evenly pour over the 4 panna cotta mousse glasses. Refrigerate. Serve tops with fresh strawberry slices.