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Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Honey

Panna Cotta is a chef’s favorite dessert, and here, Chef Alfredo makes it with buttermilk for added dimensional tang. This breezy dessert can be made in advance and is ideal for festive family dinners.


2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
9 gelatin leaves, soaked in cold water for about 4 minutes
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Texas honey (See note)
Fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Recipe directions: 

Spray six ramekins with cooking spray, then use a paper towel to wipe out most of the oil, leaving only a light residue.

Place 1 cup of heavy cream, whole milk, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla paste to the cream. Squeeze the gelatin leaves to remove any excess water, then add them to the saucepan, stirring constantly until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let it boil.

Stir in the remaining heavy cream and buttermilk. Remove from heat and ladle the cream mixture into each ramekin. Refrigerate overnight, or until thoroughly chilled.

You can serve panna cotta straight from the ramekins, without unmolding. However, to remove it from the mold, dip the bottom of the ramekin into a pot of hot water to loosen the panna cotta. Slide a knife around the edge, then carefully turn it over onto a serving plate. Drizzle generously with the honey. Garnish with fresh mint and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Instead of honey, try saba, a syrupy Italian condiment of reduced unfermented grape juice or strawberry coulis.

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