Panna cotta is one of those desserts that's ideal for parties. The name itself evokes such an Ooo la la air about it, but in reality it's super-easy to make. And since it's prepared and batched ahead of time that's one less thing for the host(ess) to fuss about when entertaining guests. Take it out of the fridge, top it off with a few bright fruits for color, and maybe even a "fancy" dessert sauce, and it's ready to serve!
Ingredients for 4-5 servings
For Panna Cotta
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 packet of powdered gelatin (more if you want it firmer, mine came out with a pudding-like consistency)
1 oz. cold water
For Balsamic Reduction
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar (a friend got some fig balsamic vinegar so I used that)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup of bite-sized fresh fruits
1. Dissolve the half-packet of gelatin in the cold water, set aside (it will gel up in a few minutes.)
2. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Once it starts simmering, remove from stove and add the gelatin/cold water mixture, stir a few times to make sure it's completely dissolved.
4. Pour into individual bowls/cups/dessert dishes, cover each with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 3 hours.
5. While panna cotta is chilling, clean & rinse the saucepan and use it to make the reduction, simply combine vinegar & sugar and heat @ medium-high heat until it reduces to half its volume (took about 10-15 minutes for me,) stirring occasionally.
6. Pour the reduction into another container, cover and let it chill in fridge.
7. When ready to serve, top the panna cotta with the fruit and drizzle the reduction on top.