Lemongrass Panna Cotta

April 17, 2015

The great thing about panna cotta, which literally translates to cooked cream, is that it can be made in advance. The perfect simplicity of this dish lends itself well to a delicate infusion of lemongrass stalks and a sauce of springtime strawberries macerated in basil and crystalized ginger.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours

Panna Cotta
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
5 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Ginger-Basil Macerated Strawberries
2 cups quartered strawberries
3 tablespoons minced crystalized ginger
3 packed tablespoons basil leaves, cut into chiffonade slices
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon raw sugar

Lightly spray 8 ramekins or cups and place on a baking tray.

Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add in the lemongrass stalk. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat.

Let infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the lemongrass from the cream and then rewarm the mixture.

Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Pour cream mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve and divide the mixture into the prepared cups, tightly cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and chill until firm, at least 3 hours, but ideally overnight.

An hour before serving, mix together the ingredients for the strawberry sauce and let stand 1 hour, lightly stirring every 20 minutes or so.

To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each panna cotta and unmold onto dessert plates. Serve with macerated strawberries.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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