Panna Cotta with Strawberry Puree

Seasonal fruits complement this creamy Italian dessert.

Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Puree

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    Ingredients

    2 tbsp water 3-4 tbsp superfine sugar
    1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder 1 tsp vanilla essence
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream 8 oz (250 g) strawberries, hulled, plus 4 whole strawberries for garnish

    directions

    Total:
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    • 1

      Pour the water into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin. Let stand for 3–5 minutes until the gelatin softens and looks spongy. Bring 1in (2.5cm) water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from heat. Set the bowl of gelatin in the pan, and let stand, stirring often until dissolved.

    • 2

      Combine the cream and 2 tbsp sugar in another saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the gelatin mixture and stir well. Carefully ladle the cream into the ramekins. Cool completely. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours until set.

    • 3

      Meanwhile, puree the berries with 1–2 tbsp of the remaining sugar to taste in a blender or food processor, then cover and set aside until ready to serve.

    • 4

      To serve, quickly dip the base of each ramekin in hot water, and dry the ramekin. Working with one ramekin at a time, place a serving plate on top and invert, giving a gentle shake. Lift and remove the ramekin. Spoon the puree around each panna cotta and decorate with whole strawberries.

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