Pannacotta is an Italian classic; it means cooked cream in Italian. It's a really really light dessert. It's made by cooking cream, milk, sugar, and gelatin together and letting it set. It's usually served with nuts, fresh fruits and/or fruit coulis.
It is different from molded gelatin or jelly as they are firm in texture and they have that weird bouncy feel in your mouth. Pannacotta is really soft, delicate, and uber creamy. It glides through your spoon as you scoop a mouthful; it exudes a great deal of lightness and creaminess. It is a great way to end a heavy meal.
I think the key to a great pannacotta is quality cream and just enough amount of gelatin for the cream to set. A lot of people over do the gelatin making the pannacotta a molded gelatin. Since there's not much gelatin used to stabilize a pannacotta, it's not so ideal to make an unmoldedpannacotta on a summer heat. I tell you, it will melt! I remember back in uni days, I was studying hospitality management, we had to serve a 3 course meal to 80 people. I was in charge of the desserts, and since it was an Italian theme, I decided to serve pannacotta. Not considering the Manila heat, the pannacottas were melting as it got to the guests. So if your planning to make panna cotta in a warm condition, I suggest letting the pannacottas set in a nice shot glass or ramekin, and serving them as they are.
For this version of pannacotta, I infused the cream with vanilla bean and a hint of orange zest. The flavour is absolutely luscious; you can really never go wrong with a classic vanilla flavoured anything. The addition of the subtle orange kiss is sublime as it pecks through the sweetness of the vanilla; it gives an absolutely nice finish to the palate.
Pannacotta is definitely a dessert I would never mind tucking into.