PANNA COTTA RECIPE
i’ve been having a fling with hibiscus over the past few months; my infatuation with this unique ingredient going well past flirtation. after purchasing a (larger-than-anticipated) bag online, I’ve been putting them in just about everything, from macarons to sorbet to enchiladas. The dried petals imparting a subtle fuchsia hue to whatever they touch. I’ve come to love the surprisingly fruity and slightly floral flavor the petals produce, both intriguing and enlightening when it appears in unexpected places.
panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts; the combination of the creamy milk custard and the complete simplicity of the recipe make it an excellent choice for entertaining, as it’s both impressive and easy to put together. This version incorporates a goat cheese base, creamy and lightly scented with vanilla, with a rustic jam topping made with sweet bing cherries and exotic dried hibiscus flowers.
before you turn up your nose at the mention of goat cheese in a dessert, hear me out. it’s not overly pungent; instead, the cheese provides the slightest bit of tang and a unique, creamy texture to an otherwise plain vanilla custard. sure, if you really can’t stand goat cheese you can opt to leave it out, but I encourage you to keep an open mind and give it a try. –lindsay
CLICK THROUGH FOR THE RECIPE…
Cherry, Hibiscus, and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta
yield: 4 to 6 servings
active time: 20 minutes
total time: 4 hours
• 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup (3 ounces) soft goat cheese, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Hibiscus & Cherry Topping
• 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
• 7 ounces fresh cherries (about 18), pitted and chopped
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
how to make the panna cotta…
in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water and let sit for 5 minutes to soften. heat half-and-half and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese, whisking until smooth. Stir in softened gelatin and vanilla extract until completely incorporated. divide among 4 (6-ounce) or 6 (4-ounce) jars or ramekins. arrange on a tray and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set. meanwhile, to prepare topping, pour 1/2 cup boiling water over hibiscus flowers. let steep for 5 minutes, then strain, discarding flowers. combine hibiscus liquid, cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until reduced by about half, about 15 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. transfer to a heat proof container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, spoon topping over set custards.