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Dessert to Impress

Do you know anyone who is a food snob? You know who I'm talking about, that friend of yours who refuses to eat American cheese and salad from a bag. Her definition of dinner is a seven course meal with wine pairings to match each course. How on earth can you possibly invite her to your next dinner party when you know she'll turn her nose up at your lack of foie gras and sumac? Here's my solution, don't invite her for dinner, invite her for dessert. I have a can't-go-wrong, guaranteed-to-knock-your-socks-off (even if you're a food snob) dessert called panna cotta. Just the sound of it conjures up fantasies of an exquisite dessert. To impress your food snob friends and make panna cotta,

Panna Cotta with Honey
From Michael Chiarello

3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 gelatin leaves, soaked in cold water for about 4 minutes
1/2 cup honey
Ground and toasted hazelnuts, optional

  1. Place the cream, vanilla bean, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Remove the vanilla bean and split lengthwise. Scrape the vanilla beans into the cream.
  3. Squeeze the gelatin leaves to remove any excess water, then add them to the pan, stirring constantly about 30 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted.
  4. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons honey into the bottom of 6 (4-ounce) molds.
  5. Ladle the cream mixture into each.
  6. Refrigerate for several hours, until thoroughly chilled.
  7. To remove from the mold: Dip the bottom of the mold into a pot of hot water to loosen the panna cotta. Slide a knife around the edge, then carefully turn over onto a serving plate.
  8. Drizzle with the remaining honey and garnish with hazelnuts, if desired.

Serves 6.

Join The Conversation
mizlynz mizlynz 9 years
It looks good, but I like creme brulee. Call me crazy, I like working with a blowtorch.
joyofadventure joyofadventure 10 years
omg that looks good!
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
i will! :)
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
ooo please do mandie! this dessert sounds soooo good!
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
oioo i have a recipe for panna cotta from a 5 star hotel somewhr. i'll have to dig it up and post it soon! :D
chancleta chancleta 10 years
Thanks PartySugar for clarifying that for me :)
Leoschoice Leoschoice 10 years
OK, call me a food snob then :) I love 3 courses diner, with pairing wines. I'll also never eat American cheese since I'm from the cheese country :p I do love panna cotta though, especially after a nice diner when you ate too much !
partysugar partysugar 10 years
Chancleta, leaf gelatin is the same substance as granulated gelatin, just packaged and sold in a different form. The gel-making ability of sheet gelatin is constant no matter what its size, so four leaves equal the amount of gelatin in the standard 1/4-ounce packet so if you cant find leaves use about half a packet of the powdered stuff.
chancleta chancleta 10 years
YumSugar I think it sounds awesome! Impressive! And I have to agree that I don't think regular cooks know what this is. I think I'm going to make it. One question (here's where I may sound lame) but what's gelatin leaves?
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
Okay, call me a food snob too. I much prefer playing around with different flavors of creme brulee. My fav thus far was a coffee brandy creme brulee that I served for Christmas last year. Plus, it gives me an excuse to play with a torch! "Party like a rock star, pound like a porn star, play like an all star!"
susanec susanec 10 years
Of all the desserts I would make, this is not on my list (snob again). Not a fan and it often seems to contain gelatin, which isn't on my list either. Creme brulee, on the other hand...
Food Food 10 years
hey designergirl, you're probably a little snobby (don't worry, so am i!), but i do think it's rather impressive in the sense that most non-foodies would usually attempt something like cookies or brownies instead.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Hmmm... didn't know panna cotta was considered exotic or super-impressive. I mean, it's basically custard. I thought everyone knew about this dessert by now...or maybe I'm just a food snob myself.
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