Panna cotta is a popular Italian dessert and means cooked cream. Many panna cotta recipes contain for example milk or half and half in addition to cream. This recipe, however, has only the real stuff: heavy cream. When real vanilla is added to season the gentle creaminess and tangy blackcurrant sauce covers the rich smoothness, you can just forget all the bad things in this world when indulging yourself with this divine dessert.
Tips for making this dessert
When you let the gelatin soak in the cold cream, it might form lumps. However, it usually dissolves well when mixed into the hot cream. In any case, it’s good to mix the cream with a spoon when you add the gelatin to the cold cream.
If you don’t have real vanilla, you can naturally use vanilla extract, however this dessert is much better with real vanilla. Ground vanilla or vanilla powder works also well.
I’ve used 1 teaspoon gelatin, which makes relatively firm panna cotta. If you prefer your panna cotta really firm, use 2 teaspoons gelatin.
Stir the hot, ready mixture all the time while pouring it into dessert bowls, ramekins or glasses. Vanilla seeds tend to sink to the bottom of the saucepan and we want to ensure that all the portions get equal amount of seeds. The vanilla seeds sink to the bottom of the dessert bowls too, so if you remove the panna cottas from the dessert bowls and place them on plates, the surface is dotted with tiny vanilla seeds.
If the sauce is too thick in your opinion, you can add water to get the consistency you want. Taste the sauce and add more sweetener like erythritol or stevia if needed.
My low-carb panna cotta experiments
As I love everything creamy, I thought panna cotta is an easy and simple dessert to make. But how to get some twist to it? I heard word “rosewater” somewhere in the back of my head and wanted to try it out. One teaspoon didn’t taste at all, two teaspoons far too little, so one tablespoon rosewater was just ideal.
I thought my family doesn’t like rosewater anyway, so when I made this dessert last weekend I omitted the rosewater and used vanilla pod instead. And since we had plenty of great, fresh and sweet strawberries, I used those for the sauce. Everybody simply loved the dessert and couldn’t stop singing the praises.
I was satisfied too, but wanted to make the dessert more exciting. So, rosewater and something more interesting for the sauce. What could that be? Some berries but which berries? Blueberries would be too bland. Blackcurrants? Yes! Blackcurrants it was. We have one small bush full of blackcurrants which I didn’t manage to pick yet. This was the chance. Moreover, I thought the taste of blackcurrants might go well with rosewater.
Well, I have to confess that I know better tasting things than rosewater or then I simply got my quota full when doing my experiments. That’s why in this final recipe I have given up using rosewater, but use real vanilla instead. Traditionally panna cotta is made with real vanilla anyway.
|Per portion if 4 portions in total:
Tips for variation and decoration
Some ideas for decoration:
- Sprinkle some chopped low-carb cookies on top
- Sprinkle some dark chocolate shavings on top (my absolute favorite! Dark chocolate is great with blackcurrants)
- Sprinkle chopped nuts on top
- Sprinkle chopped fresh mint leaves on top, or mix into the blackcurrant sauce.
Some ideas for variation:
Instead of blackcurrants you can use your favorite berries. Just purée them with erythritol or stevia and use as sauce. For example, if kids don’t like the strong taste of blackcurrants, then strawberries are a perfect option. You can double the amount, so use 6 oz (170 g) strawberries for the sauce. In this case the carb count for each serving is 3.8 g.
If you like the taste of rosewater, just add 1 tablespoon rosewater to the cold cream before you add the gelatin and omit the vanilla pod.