The Holy Grail! FoodNRecipe's Foolproof, Noob-Tested Panna Cotta Gelatin Ratio

August 28, 2012 4:31 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
pannacotta2
From the good folks at FoodNRecipe's Test Kitchen comes the ultimate panna cotta gelatin-to-liquid ratio that's been the holy grail of home cooks. It's so easy, we can all but 100% guarantee you'll get it right the first time. (Photo: RecipeBuddies)

From the good folks at FoodNRecipe's Test Kitchen comes the ultimate panna cotta gelatin-to-liquid ratio that's been the holy grail of home cooks. It's so easy, we can all but 100% guarantee you'll get it right the first time.

If you've been following us for the past two weeks, you're probably wondering why we've had panna cotta on the brain (and the tongue). In many ways, we're not so sure, ourselves. Maybe it's that the silky, jiggly, lighter-than-air enigma is about to lease space in the collective consciousness, and 'blow up' the way that cupcakes did a few years ago. Maybe it's because it's summer, and there's nothing like an ice-cold class of milk, boldly flavored or lightly sweetened, then transmogrified into a traditional dessert that's decidedly more brassy than it first appears to be.

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It's hard to say, but one thing's certain: we've just uncovered one of the holy grail of dessert cooking-- a panna cotta ratio for any liquid that's utterly foolproof. Get ready to impress your friends and dazzle your family with what you can do.

Here's what you need to remember: you'll need three-fourths a teaspoon of powdered gelatin to every 100 grams of liquid. Follow that result, and you'll be turning any creamy confectionery you like into delicate, jiggly, perfect panna cotta.

But don't take our word for it! Here's how you use it in our last panna cotta recipe for a while: Banana and Peanut Butter Captain Crunch Panna Cotta, made with almond milk.

Part One: Make the Cereal Milk

-Preheat the oven to 300 F, lay out three-and-a-half cups of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch in a single layer, and lightly toast for twelve minutes. That's going to unlock a rich flavor profile that'll really knock your socks off.

-Measure out 1/4 cup of cold water and put it in a medium bowl in the fridge for later. Mysterious!

-Measure out 800 grams of unsweetened almond milk and add the toasted cereal to it.

-Steep the cereal for twenty minutes for a more subtle taste, or forty-five minutes for a more full-bodied peanut butter taste. Keep in mind that when you turn it into a panna cotta, it's going to lose just a little bit of its taste, so if what you're going for is a very delicately sweet cereal milk, don't be surprised if your panna cotta turns out bland.

-When you're done steeping, strain the cereal out of the milk. Squeeze the cereal against the strainer to wring out all the milk it's sopped up. Discard or eat the cereal. Put the milk in the fridge.

Part Two: Bloom Your Gelatin

-I used to panic when I heard the phrase "gelatin bloom," but after doing it myself once, it's actually incredibly simple.

-Grab your bowl of cold water out of the fridge. It should be even colder.

-Measure out six teaspoons of powdered gelatin and sprinkle it evenly (ie not in one big pile) across the surface of the water. If you're using packets of gelatin and you don't want to open that third packet to get six teaspoons, two packets will do just fine.

-Wait five to ten minutes. While that's happening...

Part Three: Turn Your Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal Milk into the Panna Cotta Base

-Heat the cereal milk over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble. This should happen quickly. Watch closely: cereal milk bubbles like nobody's business.

-Once it's hot, but not boiling, dissolve one packed tablespoon of dark brown sugar, one tablespoon of banana nectar, and one pinch of salt, stirring constantly. You don't have to follow those measurements, but they totally work. I promise!

-Once you have that, pour one-fourth a cup of the hot (but not boiling!) milk into the bowl of bloomed gelatin. Stir it all up till the gelatin is completely dissolved. You're adding this small quantity first because it's a nightmare to dissolve the gelatin if you add the whole thing of hot liquid at once. It's the difference between thirty seconds and fifteen minutes of stirring.

-Transfer to ramekins and put them in the fridge. Wait a couple of hours until firm.

-Garnish with cereal. Enjoy!



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