Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries is an elegant and simple dessert that perfectly combines the creamy texture of panna cotta with the fresh, tangy flavor of berries. This dish is ideal for a sophisticated finish to any meal, especially during spring and summer when berries are at their best. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • - For the Panna Cotta:
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons (about 6g) powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
  • - For the Berry Topping:
  • 1 cup (240ml) mixed fresh berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional, adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional, to enhance flavor)

Instructions

Preparing the Panna Cotta:
1
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it stand for about 5 minutes to soften.
2
In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean seeds (add the pod as well, if using). Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm but not boiling.
3
Remove the vanilla bean pod (if used) and add the softened gelatin to the warm cream mixture. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
4
Pour the mixture into 4 serving glasses or ramekins. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until set.
Preparing the Berry Topping:
1
If you prefer a sweetened berry topping, combine the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Gently toss to coat the berries and let them macerate for about 15-30 minutes at room temperature. The sugar and lemon juice will draw out the juices from the berries, creating a light syrup.
2
If you prefer fresh and unsweetened berries, simply rinse them and pat dry.
Serving:
1
Once the panna cotta has set, top each serving with a generous spoonful of the fresh berries and some of the syrup from the macerated berries, if used.
2
Serve chilled.

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