Given the unbelievable ease and convenience of making Abby Dodge's Panna Cotta recipe for this August's #Baketogether, I couldn't resist trying out another flavor combination that tastes just as summery and exotic as my previous version. This time, I wanted to put my recently purchased rose water to use so I thought of adding a few teaspoons of it to the creamy base of the Panna Cotta along with bits of canned lychees and a topping of tart raspberry sauce. The combination of rose, lychees, and raspberries is one of the most interesting dessert combinations I've tried and the flavors somehow meld together into an unsual (but oh-so-good) guava-like flavor. You'll keep on eating and eating this trying to distinguish the notes of flavor that present themselves in each spoonful you put in your mouth!
Rose-Scented Panna Cotta with Lychee Bits and Raspberry Sauce
For the Panna Cotta
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
3/4 cup heavy cream plus 1/4 cup reserved in a glass measuring cup to bloom gelatin
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons rose water
Pinch table salt
1 cup canned lychees chopped into smaller pieces
For the Raspberry Sauce
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch table salt
sliced lemons for garnish
To make the Panna Cotta:
1. Have ready 3 to 6 dessert glasses or bowls and make room in the fridge.
2. Put the 1/4 cup heavy cream in a 1 cup Pyrex measure and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Set aside to soften. In the meantime, fill a small sauce pan with water to about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Place the pan on your stovetop and bring the water to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Once the gelatin has absorbed all the water and looks plump, place the Pyrex cup directly into the simmering water and mix with a metal spoon until the gelatin is melted. Alternatively, microwave briefly until it is melted about 1 minute.
3. Put the milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, rose water and salt in a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, add the gelatin mixture to the cream and mix until well incorporated. Place a fine mesh sieve on top of a large cup or jug with a narrow opening and pass all of the cream mixture though it. This will remove any hardened bits of gelatin if there are any.
4. Pour the mixture into prepared glasses or bowls, dividing it evenly and leaving enough space at the tops for the raspberry sauce. Cover the tops with plastic and refrigerate for about 25 minutes. After this time, open the plastic cover and drop in a few pieces of the lychee pieces inside each glass then cover again and let set, about 4 hours or up to a day before serving.
To make the raspberry sauce:
1. Put the raspberries, rum, lemon juice, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and well-blended. Taste and add more sugar or rum accordingly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl or 2-cup measure. Cover the container and refrigerate until ready.
Pour the sauce over the panna cotta then top the edge of the glasses with round slices of lemons. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
Everyone is welcome to join Abby's monthly #Baketogethers and if you want to do your own twist to this Panna Cotta, head on over to Abby's page to get the original recipe!