Panna cotta, Italian meaning cooked cream, is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk, and sugar and gelatin. It is believed to have originated in the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, although it is eaten all over Italy. It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish did not directly mention gelatin, but instead included a step in which fish bones were boiled; this is now known to extract collagen from the bones, which turns to gelatin.
Panna Cotta with honey and berriesFrom: GalleyChef.org
Light as a feather, creamy and easy. This is a dessert that will satisfy that sweet tooth.
Place the half and half in a heavy saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Grease 4 ramekins. Pour mixture into ramekins. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours. Remove the panna cotta from the ramekins onto a plate. Spoon berries over the top and serve. Decorate with chocolate drizzle or honey if desired.
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