In The Kitchen
Vanilla & Bay Panna Cotta by Vilda Gonzalez
To celebrate the release of our first Italian wines, we knew we had to share a couple of Italian recipes to pair with them. We asked our friend Vilda Gonzalez, a recipe creator whose style and vibe we absolutely love, to put her chich spin on a dish that's perfect for serving at holiday parties and after dinner: Panna Cotta.
This recipe leans into classic vanilla flavors, with a unique notes of bay leaves, grapefruit, rosemary and hazelnut. In other words: this may not be your nonna's panna cotta, but your nonna will love it nonetheless.
A note from Vilda:
"This dish is an ode to the alchemy that is panna cotta. Heavy cream, gelatin and honey transform into the most luscious, silky, and subtly sweetened dessert. I prefer my desserts to have the same nuance and complexity that a savory dish might, so I introduced a pop of brightness from fresh grapefruit and a nutty, herbaceous crunch from rosemary toasted hazelnuts."
Pour half a cup of heavy cream into a small bowl. Sprinkle in the gelatin, whisk well to avoid clumps, and set aside to bloom.
In a saucepan set over medium low heat, toast the bay leaves until fragrant - 3-4 minutes. Add 1½ cups of cream, ¼ cup honey, and the scraped vanilla seeds and pod. Gently heat the mixture until the cream is hot to the touch, but don’t allow it to come up to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream with the bloomed gelatin.
Strain the panna cotta mixture into a new bowl, and set this bowl inside another bowl filled with ice water to expedite the cooling process. As the mixture is cooling, stir frequently to prevent any clumps from forming. Once the mixture has cooled and just started to thicken, gently stir in the sea salt. Taste the mixture to see if the flavors pop, if they don’t - add another small pinch of salt. Pour the panna cotta (about ¾ cup per) into 6 small bowls or jars. Keep in mind that this will be the vessel that you serve the panna cotta in, so choose wisely! Place in the refrigerator to set for 3-4 hours.
In a small frying pan set over medium heat, add the hazelnuts, 1 tablespoon of honey, the rosemary, and a small pinch of salt. Toast, tossing frequently, until the nuts smell irresistibly toasty and the honey has coated them in a sticky glaze. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
When the panna cotta is set, serve it topped with the honeyed hazelnuts, grapefruit supremes, and a touch of grapefruit zest.
Vanilla & Bay Panna Cotta
for the panna cotta:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
- ¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon honey
- 2¼ teaspoon powdered gelatin
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to season
- 1 large grapefruit, cut into supremes, zest reserved
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
"This dish is an ode to the alchemy that is panna cotta."
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