A classic panna cotta is infused with chamomile tea, and nestled in a bowl of carefully prepared citrus fruits floating in their own refreshing soup.
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This variation is one of the fanciest of my panna cotta recipes. It pairs the tropical flavor of coconut (which is my go-to at the end of winter when I'm so tired of apples, pears, and citrus fruits) with a bright fuschia-colored layer of hibiscus gelee and little gems of pomegranate seeds.
Imagine a creamy cappuccino, softly solidified. That's what the coffee panna cotta from Nigellissima reminds one of. Sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with espresso, this panna cotta is rich, yet refreshing.
I'm pretty adept at making semifreddos, granitas, and all kinds of hand-stirred frozen desserts, but before I even started experimenting with those, I filled the chilly dairy void in my menu with all kinds of wacky panna cotta. Here's one great example.
The beauty of panna cotta is its flavor flexibility; it takes on the taste of whatever you infuse it with. In this version, using basil and lemon makes a refreshing, zesty-sweet version with vegetal notes of basil.
Panna cotta is a refreshingly creamy dessert perfect for sticky summer nights. This version from The Seasonal Baker is simple; buttermilk and vanilla paste combine to provide an elegant tang. Placed atop orange zest-flavored sugar cookies, the crumbly-smooth contrast can't be beat.
These treats from Kir Jensen, author of The Sugar Cube are creamy, coconutty, and out of control tasty.
Hands down, panna cotta is my favorite dessert. (Just ask any server at Craft what the pastry chef recommends and their response will be panna cotta.) In this recipe, the sweet milk chocolate is nicely paired with the tartness of raspberries and the complexity of saba.
Ports and grappas are fine for rounding out meals during the chillier months, but in the summer only an after-dinner Moscato will do. Light and fizzy with notes of apricot and orange blossom, Moscato is full of absolutely gorgeous stone fruit flavors. While I'd be perfectly happy sipping Moscato all summer long, Romney Steele author of Plum Gorgeous went a step further with this Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Moscato Apricots, incorporating the sweet wine into a dessert that radiates summer sunshine.
Every cook should have panna cotta in his or her bag of tricks. It's understated but delightfully creamy, and it looks gorgeous on the plate. It takes only minutes to prep (although the taste and texture suggest much greater effort), and once it has had time to set, panna cotta can be pulled out of the fridge and served instantly, making it the perfect dinner party finish. Best of all, it's completely versatile, pairing well with fruit sauces from any season, as well as chocolate, caramel, and even balsamic vinegar.