A delicious Italian dessert made from thick, sweet cream and can be eaten on its own or served with fruits or berries.

Ingredients :

1 litre double cream
100g sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod )
2 packets gelatin ( or 6 sheets gelatin )
90 ml cold water

Method :

Prepare 8 Panna Cotta moulds by lightly oiling with a neutral tasting oil. You can also use wine goblets and serve the Panna Cotta in the glasses at the table, this looks very nice.

Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle on the gelatin, leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Heat the cream and sugar, gently, in a saucepan. Once the sugar has dissolved remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. ( If you are using a vanilla pod then split it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add to the warm cream. Add the pod and leave to infuse for ½ hour. Remove the pod and re-warm the cream. Continue.)

Pour the very warm cream mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. ( for leaf gelatin : At this stage, soften the leaves in a bowl of water for 8 – 10 minutes. Squeeze out the water and stir the leaves into the warm Panna Cotta mixture instead of the powdered gelatin.)

Divide the Panna Cotta Mixture into the moulds (or glasses) and set aside somewhere cool to chill for 3 – 4 hours, at least. This dessert can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Before serving run a knife around the edges of the moulds and up-end the moulds onto serving plates. Garnish with berries or fruits in syrup or just leave plain with a small biscuit.

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