Panna Cotta with Berries and Anise Brittle

Panna Cotta with Berries and Anise Brittle

INGREDIENTS:

Panna Cotta

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped away, or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups very cold heavy cream

Anise Brittle

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Fresh seasonal berries, for serving

METHOD:

Panna Cotta

  • Put ¼ cup cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let it soak for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla bean halves in a large saucepan.
  • Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a gentle boil.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the gelatin mixture until dissolved.
  • Stir in the cream and remove the pieces of vanilla bean.
  • Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Pour ½ cup of the mixture into each of eight 6-ounce ramekins or glasses.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until set (if you plan to refrigerate overnight, cover each with plastic wrap).

Anise Brittle

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and rub with the butter.
  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small, heavy saucepan.
  • Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Then, bring to a boil and simmer until the bubbles begin to break much more slowly (Note: Molten sugar is extremely hot; handle it with care.
  • Shortly after that, the mixture will start to brown. Caramelize it to a light amber color- not dark brown.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the fennel seeds and baking soda (the mixture will bubble up slowly and expand like a science experiment).
  • Scoop it out onto the buttered foil with a spatula and spread thinly; it will continue bubbling for a few seconds.
  • Cool completely, then chop the hard brittle into small, rough pieces.
  • To serve, top each panna cotta with a few berries and scatter with the chopped brittle.

Ingredients

Instructions

Donatella Arpaia

Donatella Arpaia is a chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and mother. She has built an empire of successful restaurants drawing on the skills, passion, methods, and love for food she learned from her family.