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Panna Cotta: Recipes & Techniques


Suvir Saran
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Christ, I wish the use of cups wasn't so prevalent in the US; it really confuses us Britishers. :)

It'll depend on the Bloom rating of the gelatine you use and the liquidity of your ingredients, but barring factors like acid coagulation of proteins and the aforementioned emzymatic activity of certain fresh juices, I find that the following usually works :

750ml (about three cups) whipping cream (in the UK, about 40% butterfat)

250ml other liquids

150g sugar

2.5-3 sheets soaked gelatine.

Points of variation :

1) Acids will help firm up your mixture.

2) Higher fat content (either a heavier cream or using more whipping cream in proportion to everything else) will firm it up.

3) Gelatine generally takes up to 12 hours to set properly, and from then on will stiffen gradually. Restaurant pannacottas that could double as squash balls are usually the result of too much gelatine in the first place, or a pannacotta that's been lying around for a few days.

If you use sheet gelatine - and most professionals do, certainly over here - then you need to soak only enough to swell the sheets. Squeeze thoroughly to expel excess water before adding to your warm mix. Oversoaking or a lack of squeezing can considerably increase the amount of water in your mix and upset the gelatine balance.

Good luck on the next run!

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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I read that the rule is 1/4 ounce of gelatin to set 16oz of liquid.

Did you bloom and dissolve the gelatin?

How to bloom and dissolve gelatin.

Yes, I did bloom and dissolve the gelatin. I think the problem is 1 tsp gelatin to 3 1/3 + cups of liquid. I have just read the gelatin pack :shock: and it says that one envelope (approx 1 TBS or 15 ml) will set 2 cups of liquid. So I am thinking that the recipe should have called for 1 TBS rather than 1 tsp.

I think that 1 tsp is too little. I agree that it may have been a typo and may have intended to read 1 Tbs. However, I think 3 tsp is too much for the volume; I would suggest 2 tsp for 3.25 C, especially because 2 C of the "liquid" was stiff (full fat?) sour cream. However, blueberries tend to require more thickener than other berries, so maye 1 Tbs was right.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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I read that the rule is 1/4 ounce of gelatin to set 16oz of liquid.

Did you bloom and dissolve the gelatin?

How to bloom and dissolve gelatin.

Yes, I did bloom and dissolve the gelatin. I think the problem is 1 tsp gelatin to 3 1/3 + cups of liquid. I have just read the gelatin pack :shock: and it says that one envelope (approx 1 TBS or 15 ml) will set 2 cups of liquid. So I am thinking that the recipe should have called for 1 TBS rather than 1 tsp.

I think that 1 tsp is too little. I agree that it may have been a typo and may have intended to read 1 Tbs. However, I think 3 tsp is too much for the volume; I would suggest 2 tsp for 3.25 C, especially because 2 C of the "liquid" was stiff (full fat?) sour cream. However, blueberries tend to require more thickener than other berries, so maye 1 Tbs was right.

The blackberries should not be factored in as they are served on the side. I will try it again in a week or so with more gelatine and report on the result. Thanks for your interest.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 3 months later...

I'd like to attmept an anise flavored panna cotta and have a few questions.

1. what are some of your basic recipes for a panna cotta?

2. how much star anise would you infuse with the cream?

3. would you add vanilla or just plain anise to the base?

thanks!

Pastry PRincess

a day without love, laughter or dessert is a day wasted.

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Jamie Oliver has some easy-to-make-and-surelly-succeeded pana cotta recipes. You can find them at (at least) two of his books : Jamie Oliver's ITALY and The Naked Chef

Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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Here's mine:

300g milk

2 pieces star anise

60g sugar

2+1/3 sheets leaf gelatin

150g cream

Bring the milk, sugar and anise to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Whisk in the cold cream and chill over on ice bath. Strain and mold.

It's pretty mild on both the anise and sugar, so you may need to adjust it if you want it stronger or sweeter. That's the smallest incantation of the recipe, too, for testing purposes.

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thank you thank you!! can't wait to attempt...i bought some rhubarb today because i'm making rhubarb sauce and some poached rhubarb to go wiht the panna cotta

Pastry PRincess

a day without love, laughter or dessert is a day wasted.

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Here's mine:

300g milk

2 pieces star anise

60g sugar

2+1/3 sheets leaf gelatin

150g cream

Bring the milk, sugar and anise to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Whisk in the cold cream and chill over on ice bath. Strain and mold.

It's pretty mild on both the anise and sugar, so you may need to adjust it if you want it stronger or sweeter. That's the smallest incantation of the recipe, too, for testing purposes.

I like this concept a lot!

2317/5000

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  • 1 year later...

I've done the same thing with marshmallows where I split the side of tubing and then taped it. I've re-used it many times. I'm not sure that is how they did it however. They could have simply used a tall can with the top and bottom removed and lined it with saran wrap. Or, it almost looks like a toliet paper roll - same thing, lined with saran.

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acetate and whatever sized tube you're using.

if you're using metal tubing, you can seal one end with plastic wrap (heat shrink it in the oven for a few seconds and it will stick and be smooth). line the interior with an acetate strip. fill with panna cotta base. chill. unmold.

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acetate and whatever sized tube you're using.

if you're using metal tubing, you can seal one end with plastic wrap (heat shrink it in the oven for a few seconds and it will stick and be smooth).  line the interior with an acetate strip. fill with panna cotta base.  chill.  unmold.

ACETATE!!! Thanks for the help!

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I've done this with pvc pipe and a plastic wrap to seal the open end. You can dispence with the acetate by very lightly coating the interior of the tube with food release spray.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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if you use metal tubes, you can avoid the acetate as well and just warm the outside briefly with a torch to unmold. don't even need spray. i think the only reason i considered acetate is that the panna cotta is flexible (don't want to use too much gelatin :blink: ) and this would aid in getting it to the right place on the plate without having to handle it too much or without it falling apart.

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I've done this with pvc pipe and a plastic wrap to seal the open end.  You can dispence with the acetate by very lightly coating the interior of the tube with food release spray.

Slightly off topic but elated to this posting... I make my own ring molds for plating out of PVC pipe. This is because its ton cheaper than 'professional' molds and PVC is what most new houses use for water plumbing so it has got to be safe. Am I correct in my assumption or have I been poisoning my dinner guests?

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They probably used one of these tube molds.

I've used them for molding rice and ice cream. I bought them at a local craft store that supplies hobby soap makers.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Slightly off topic but elated to this posting... I make my own ring molds for plating out of PVC pipe.  This is because its  ton cheaper than 'professional' molds and PVC is what most new houses use for water plumbing so it has got to be safe.  Am I correct in my assumption or have I been poisoning my dinner guests?

PVC pipe is generally used for waste discharge, not for water supply. Most contemporary supply lines are copper or polyethylene.

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we actually use pvc which we cut into three inch lengths and then use the plastic wrap and a rubber band to seal the bottom.

in fact at the store, you can cut a 12 foot pipe into the lengths you want, utilizing the in store saw.

actually we have spent a good amount of time at home depot recently sourcing building supplies for their culinary uses.

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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thanks as always for sharing.

I receive your website updates daily, and they really are the most welcome item in my inbox.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Not all PVC pipe is food grade, although it is supposed to be produced from "food grade" materials.

Some PVC pipe, imported from China contains materials one does not want around food.

One producer manufactures PVC pipe, intended for plumbing use, mostly underground sprinkler systems or in recreational vehicles, trailers, in the same plant that it also manufactures PVC/cement/asbestos pipe for the south China sea farming industry.

Be sure to buy only PVC pipe made in the USA or Canada and is identified by a dye strip in the pipe or a cast-in mfg. number.

Before I retired, I worked in a medical office that we shared with an internist/toxicologist who received monthly bulletins about hazardous materials in the workplace. One of the bulletins specifically noted that workers cutting imported PVC pipe with power tools should always wear eye and breathing protection and cover any exposed areas of skin, remove clothing esposed to the dust from cutting and launder it separately from household linens and other clothing.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 1 year later...

What's the best cream I get can my hands on in the NYC metro area, including Long Island?

I've made three attempts of Panna Cotta, using 3 diffrent recipes, and didn't like the results, at least when compared to what I had in Rome and Bologna.

In all three attempts I used cream bought at Whole Foods, the one that comes in a small bottle. I also used varied amounts of gelatin, as per each recipe.

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I once ate "the best" panna cotta ever at a friend's restaurant before it closed. It was infused with lemongrass and a bit of ginger. I googled several panna cotta recipes on the net and finally settled on the one I found at Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Splendid Table website. It calls for heavy whipping cream, sour cream, and gelatin.

Try the recipe asis before reducing the gelatin. To minimize the "cooked" taste in the cream, after blooming the gelatin in water, microwave the gelatin/water mix at low power for about 10 seconds and stir until it's fully dissolved. You may need a few more zaps before the gelatin completely dissolves.

Once you dissolve the gelatin in the water you can stir it into the barely warmed cream mixture. Just be sure to stir gently so as not to form air bubbles.

I've made several variations of this recipe, including the lemongrass/ginger, green tea, Earl grey tea, passion fruit, guava, Chinese five spice, and a few others. I actually like my lemongrass/ginger version more than my friend's restaurant recipe.

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