Govind’s Buttermilk Panna Cotta w/Fresh Berries

 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon, chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

 

Method
  • Mix Gelatin and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Once dissolved, set aside and let mixture set for about 10 minutes.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine buttermilk, heavy cream and the scraped vanilla bean (pod can be added if desired and taken out after cream steeps).  If not using real vanilla bean, add vanilla extract.
  • Add sugar to the saucepan and whisk until sugar is melted.  Note: Do not allow mixture to boil.  You want to heat just enough to melt the sugar and warm the buttermilk and cream mixture.
  • Add finely chopped lemon zest and the gelatin mixture. 
  • Once hot, remove from heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. 
  • Remove vanilla bean pod (if used) and pour your mixture evenly into individual ramekins.
  • Once mixture has cooled, place filled ramekins into refrigerator and let mixture set for about 4 hours (can also be made up to two days ahead of time and stored covered in refrigerator).
  • After mixture has chilled and set, top with your favorite fresh or frozen berries, more lemon zest if desired and serve.

 

An even healthier variation by Govind...

Sweet Potato Panna Cotta

 

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam roasted, peeled and mashed till really smooth (a sieve can be used to ensure smoothness.)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of unflavored gelatin

 

Method
  • Mix Gelatin and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Once dissolved, set aside and let mixture set for about 10 minutes.
  • Use a little cooking oil on a brush and lightly oil your ramekins (these will be turned out after chilling.  The oil will help the panna cotta slide out easily.)
  • In a saucepan over medium to low heat, combine buttermilk, heavy cream and the scraped vanilla bean (pod can be added if desired and taken out after cream steeps). If you do not want to use a vanilla bean, add 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
  • Add ¾ cup of sugar to the saucepan and whisk until sugar is melted.  Note: Do not allow mixture to boil.  You want to heat just enough to melt the sugar and warm the buttermilk and cream mixture.
  • Add the gelatin mixture and stir till dissolved.    
  • Add allspice, cinnamon and ginger.
  • Remove from heat and stir in mashed sweet potato or yam
  • One thoroughly mixed, (remove vanilla bean pod if used), pour mixture evenly into individual ramekins.
  • Place filled ramekins into refrigerator and let mixture set for about 4 hours (can also be made up to two day ahead of time and stored covered in refrigerator).
  • After mixture has chilled and set, use a paring knife to run along outer edge of panna cotta to help separate it from the ramekin.  Set a plate on top of ramekin upside down and flip over so panna cotta turns out of ramekin onto the plate.
  • Drizzle with your choice of topping (Fresh Cranberry Relish would go well with this panna cotta) and serve.

 

Fresh Cranberry Relish

 

Ingredients
  • 2 bags fresh (12 ounces) Cranberries
  • I cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Orange Liqueur (Grand Manier)
  • Juice and zest from 1 naval orange
  •  
  • Method
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until mixture is chunky.  Serve with your favorite dessert (Sweet Potato Panna Cotta)

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