Friday, May 11, 2012

Make This! Almond Milk Panna Cotta

We were invited to a 'Nut Party' last month hosted by The Almond Board of California. I am a big panna cotta fan and I couldn't get enough of this recipe, created by Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy. She's the real deal having worked at top restaurants like Charlie Trotter, Craft Restaurant and A Voce. Make this light dessert at home for your next dinner party:

Almond Milk Panna Cotta
Makes 8 to 10 servings

1⁄4 cup (50 mL) almonds, finely chopped 
2 tbsp (30 mL) almond paste, finely chopped 
3 1⁄2 cups (875 mL) unsweetened almond milk 
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) almond extract 
2/3 cups (150 mL) granulated sugar 
Pinch fine sea salt 
1 1/3 cup (325 mL) heavy cream 
2 envelopes powdered gelatin

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) Set 8 to 10 four-ounce (120 g) ramekins on a baking sheet.

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast until deep golden and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring toasted almonds, almond paste, almond milk, almond extract, sugar, and salt to a boil. Turn off heat and let steep at room temperature for 15 minutes; return to a rolling boil.

Pour heavy cream into a mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface of the cream. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then whisk to incorporate. Add hot almond cream and whisk smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large metal bowl. Place bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice water and stir until cool.

Divide panna cotta base amongst ramekins. Carefully transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight until fully set.

To serve, dip ramekins into a bowl of hot water to loosen the side of the custard. Gently invert onto desired serving dish. Top with Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves.

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