It's probably not that apparent to you, dear loyal reader, that when I commit myself to doing something I have to give it my undivided attention for the duration of my endeavor. That is why I have been inconsistently consistent with my posts, and while I do share my recipes exactly once a month, I feel a bit terrible that I haven't lived up to my words on my instagram feed. All the things I've been wanting to share with you all, they've all slid onto the back burner unfortunately. Unexpected predicaments like having to move out of the comfort of our own home for a week wasn't all that easy to adjust to. Not with two small kids, at least! And definitely not when I'm feeling queasy due to pregnancy. Surprise?!
With some of those things behind us now, I'm able to cozy up with a cold mug of iced coffee while typing up this wonderful panna cotta recipe I've been so crazy about. Courtesy of Valrhona USA, I've been graced with enough chocolate to last me through a handful of different recipes.
The quality of Valrhona's chocolate has always been outstanding--so much so that it is highly favored by many a professional baker and patissier. The most unique twist they've recently come up with is their line of passion fruit chocolate feves. Feve, transliterated into English, simply means a "bean" of sorts, or something akin to the shape of a wafer and hence, we are left with the goodness that is a chocolate wafer or feve--especially when it's studded into a chewy chocolate chip cookie, or simply melted into a no-bake recipe like this passion fruit panna cotta.
Though it may sound a bit sacrilegious to a dessert connoisseur, the easiest way to explain the essence of the panna cotta is that it mainly consists of dairy or cream, with a touch of unflavored gelatin. The beauty of it is that it is a jell-o based dessert of sorts but with a fancy, creamy twist. No one will ever walk away feeling like it's a cheap childish dessert by any means, and it always feels as though it hailed from the hands of a gourmet chef. It requires no baking, just a tad of patience by the stove top, and plenty of resting in the fridge. It is the perfect summer treat, a most welcome delicacy in any gathering, and a memorable way to wow your guests.
The creamy component of the panna cotta so easily intermingles with the tart, aromatic characteristic of passion fruit. The floral and almost intoxicating notes of moist, tropical air make themselves known in this wonderful recipe. The passion fruit shouldn't overpower the beautiful, velvety element of panna cotta. You will soon find out that they were perhaps made for each other, at least in one lifetime or another.
Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with Valrhona
Makes 4-6 servings
1/2 cup milk
1 pack unflavored gelatin
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
oil for greasing the ramekins
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
1. Using a medium sauce pan, pour in the milk and sprinkle in the gelatin. Whisk it thoroughly and let it sit for about 5 minutes so it gelatinizes a bit. Turn the stove fire on low-medium heat, pour in the cream, and bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Whisk every now and then to prevent burning or caking.
2. Pour in the sugar, followed by the chocolate and the vanilla. With the fire still on low-medium heat, whisk frequently and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
3. For the blueberry sauce, simply microwave the fresh blueberries, honey, and sugar for about 30 seconds, covered, in case it splashes. Mix it well and refrigerate.
4. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of 5 small ramekins. Pour in the panna cotta mixture, seal tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. I prefer to make it ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight to save time.
5. When it's completely set and jelly-like but solid, take an offset spatula or a dull knife to run carefully through the sides, so as to unstick the panna cotta from the ramekins. Turn upside down onto a plate, tapping the ramekin, or whatever is needed to let the panna cotta fall onto the plate. Top with blueberry sauce and serve cold!