Panna cotta is an italian cooked cream dessert and its gorgeous. I discovered panna cottas after marrying my italian husband and have delighted in cooking many velvety versions since. My latest incarnation of this luscious dessert is a child friendly yoghurt version served with fresh strawberries.
Compared to the traditional recipe, this one is far less naughty and in my opinion much tastier. By replacing the majority of the cream with yoghurt the panna cotta is more luscious in texture and less sickly sweet and the kids just love them! Grace happily gobbled hers up!
Panna cottas are really quite simple to prepare and use only a handful of ingredients. And to take the fear out of making these little lovelies I have broken down the steps for you just so you can really get out easy peasy they are to prepare!
To start, place the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste (or scraped vanilla bean) in a medium sized saucepan and place over medium heat just until the cream almost starts to boil and the sugar is melted. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for five minutes or so.
Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in a little cold water. I used 2 tablespoons of the sachet gelatine but gelatine sheets are fine to use also. For this recipe you would require 3 sheets.
Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and drop into the hot cream mixture and whisk until dissolved.
Add the yoghurt and whisk until smooth.
Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps and then ladle the mixture into whatever little vessels you would like the panna cottas to set in. I used a mixture of teeny tiny bowls and Tupperware yoghurt cups, all child and lunch box friendly.
Off to the fridge the little luscious beauties go where they spend a couple of hours chilling, relaxing and doing their thing until they are set and ready to be devoured. To test, lightly press the top of the panna cotta which should be just set yet still wonderfully wobbly.
To serve, I sprinkled each panna cotta with freshly sliced strawberries, packed the lunch box and Grace into the pram and headed off for a picnic in the park.
Grace nestled happily on the picnic blanket, soaking in a little sunlight and greedily gobbling down her favourite yoghurt dessert. It’s incredible how a little fresh air and a creamy dessert can make your heart smile.
Yoghurt panna cottas with fresh strawberries
Adapted from Kayla Marie’s Kitchen
1 tbs vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 ½ cups (375 ml) thickened cream
½ cup caster sugar
2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves
500g thick Greek-style yoghurt
1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
Place vanilla bean paste (or seeds and pod), cream and sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes to infuse.
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove vanilla pod (if using) from the cream mixture and discard, then squeeze excess water from gelatine and whisk gelatine into warm cream mixture, stirring until dissolved. Whisk in yoghurt, and then strain mixture through a fine sieve. Divide among vessels (jars, moulds, small bowls, tea cups) of your choice, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until set.
Serve with fresh strawberries.