Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Panna Cotta with Orange Caramel Sauce

During an Anniversary date hubby and I had a few years ago, the restaurant had a special Prix Fix menu that we ordered from. One of the desserts was Panna Cotta that hubby decided to try out and absolutely enjoyed. After that dinner date, the closest we got to another Panna Cotta was a frozen one from Trader Joe's. Still good, but it wasn't as good as a freshly made one. And it wasn't as good as the one from the restaurant.

Sometime last week, I was watching Dave Lieberman on the Cooking Channel and he was making this recipe for Panna Cotta with Caramel Sauce. It looked so easy that I had to give it a try. And it really was so easy. And delicious. Kind of reminds of an Orange Creamsicle from the orange in the caramel sauce. You can certainly also serve this with some pureed fruit or fresh fruit on top, which is the way hubby had it at the restaurant.

1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 cup half-and-half
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water
2 (1/4 oz package) unflavored gelatin

1) Combine sugar and 1 cup half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until combined. Add remaining half-and-half, cream, and vanilla extract. Cook for 3 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together hot water and gelatin. Whisk until gelatin dissolves. Whisk gelatin mixture into half-and-half mixture until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and pour into ramekins, cupcake tins, or small tart tins. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight until set. Serve with warm orange caramel sauce.

Orange Caramel Sauce
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 small navel orange, zested and juiced
1 whole star anise (optional)

1) Melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add orange juice (and star anise if using) and simmer until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in orange zest and remove from heat.

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