This is my new favorite recipe. Perfect for the summer. Everybody has been telling me how easy it is to make panna cotta. I finally tried and it is TRUE! It is impossible to fail. It is extremely easy and it looks very elegant. AND it can be made up to three days in advance, which I love, since I want to do as few things as possible when I have friends over for dinner.
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise2 packets powdered gelatin
6 tablespoons cold water
strawberries, as many as you want
2 tablespoons of aceto balsamico tradizionale from Modena
1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
4. Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into wine goblets, or cups or any container you wish to use.
5. Cut the strawberries in quarters.
6. At dessert time, take the containers out the refrigerator, add the strawberries on top of the Panna Cotta and serve your guests.
7. At the table, in front of your guests, take your precious bottle of aceto balsamico tradizionale and add a few drops on top of each portion, reserving a few extra drops for your favorite guest.