Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Salted Caramel Panna Cotta with Chocolate Spiderwebs

We've been enjoying such pretty fall weather this month, with lots of warm, sunny days, interspersed with a few cool and rainy afternoons.

But we might actually get some snow in a few days, which I'm not quite ready for.  I'd like it to stay fall for a good long while before it starts to feel like winter.  I've been loving getting re-acquainted with my favorite brown boots, and crunching through fallen leaves in every shade of yellow, orange and red.

Jamie requested panna cotta last week, and with half a jar of homemade salted caramel in the fridge, I thought I would try adding that to the panna cotta.

I've never made panna cotta before, so I just adjusted the basic recipe on the box of gelatin to incorporate the caramel instead of sugar, as well as keeping it lighter on the cream, with more milk and yogurt than cream.

The panna cotta takes a few hours to fully set, and once set, they can be eaten right away or prepared a day in advance.  But be sure to cover them with plastic wrap, to prevent them from drying out, which will make them rubbery instead of creamy.

While the panna cotta was setting, I melted a little chocolate for spiderweb garnishes.  The chocolate was a delicious companion to the creamy panna cotta and salted caramel sauce dripping over the sides.  I think these would look so cute for a Halloween dinner party.

One Year Ago:   Pumpkin Ice Cream and Salted Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Two Years AgoBaked Bacon and Eggs French Toast

Salted Caramel Panna Cotta
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (preferably Fage, 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Note: If using store bought caramel sauce instead of homemade salted caramel, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over each before serving.

Pour the water into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the water.  Let stand for 10 minutes to soften.  Whisk in 1/2 cup of the cream and simmer over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (you will know the gelatin has dissolved when the mixture become very smooth instead of grainy).  Whisk in the rest of the cream, milk, caramel, yogurt and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the panna cotta into 6 small ramekins.  Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2-3 hours.

Serve the panna cotta in the ramekins, or run a spatula around the edges to loosen them, and turn them out onto serving plates.  Serve with more caramel sauce, or even dark chocolate syrup.

To make the chocolate spider webs, melt one ounce bittersweet chocolate, scrape into a piping bag or zip-lock bag, snip off a small corner, and squeeze the chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in the shape of small spider webs and spiders.  Chill in the refrigerator until firm again, and place on top of the panna cotta before serving.

Yields 6 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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