Desserts don't get much easier or more rewarding than this one. With hardly any work at all and just a few ingredients you can have this restaurant quality treat on your table tonight. Hands-on time to craft this dynamite pudding is no more than 15-20 minutes, though you do need to plan for cooling-in-the-fridge time to set the panna cotta before serving. Two hours is probably enough.
When you have so few ingredients in a recipe the quality of each takes on more importance, this is especially true of the chocolate in this dessert. I used Valrhona Guanaja (70% cocoa solids) here and was VERY happy with the results. Whatever you do, don't just go off and melt Hershey's chips when making this, search out a high quality chocolate like Valrhona, Callebaut or El Rey, it'll be worth the effort (and expense), I promise.
There's gonna be lots of love flowing your way when you serve this up, be prepared for it.
Cheers (and you're welcome) – Steve
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
- 1 leaf of gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Place the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cool water to rehydrate, 5-10 minutes.
- Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling, whisking frequently.
- Pull the pan from the heat, then remove the gelatin from the water. Squeeze and excess water from the gelatin then drop it in the hot cream and whisk to incorporate. When fully dissolved, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and gently whisk until all the chocolate has melted and you are left with a smooth, glossy chocolate cream. If you don't happen to have sheet gelatin in the house, take about 2 tablespoons of the milk and put it into a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder on top of the milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. After the pan of cream, sugar and milk has been boiled and removed from the heat, add the milk-gelatin mix to it , whisk to dissolve and proceed with the recipe as indicated for leaf gelatin.
- Pour through a fine meshed strainer into a large serving bowl, or alternatively into a large liquid measuring cup to facilitate pouring into 6 individual ramekins.
- Place the large bowl, or individual ramekin into the fridge to set the panna cotta for 2-4 hours.
- Remove the puddings from the fridge 1 hour before serving to allow them to come to room temperature. Serve each topped with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.