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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lemon panacota with orange caramel and vanilla panacota with strawberries (Italian)

Yeah, I know, you can't really see the panacota in this picture, just the toppings. But some mighty glorious toppings they were! Don't worry, you'll see the creamy white panacotas in a few moments. Meanwhile let me tell you a bit about this simple Italian dessert. It's quite easy to make and comes together shortly. The only reason I didn't label this as "fast" is the time you have to wait for it to cool and harden in the fridge (4 hours to overnight). But it doesn't require you to do much so it's quite stress-free.
Panacota has been my favorite dessert since I was in college, when I used to buy some of those ready-made supermarket craps just for the taste and smoothness of it. Also, every time I went to an Italian restaurant I would order either the tiramisu or a caramel panacota. The time has come to make our own - without the added color, artificial flavorings or all the wait. (Yes, I'm implying that it's faster to make this at home than it is to have it at the restaurant) :).
And because all good things come in pairs :D we decided to make two kinds of panacota: a citrusy tasting kind with the lovely orange caramel we always seem to have around and a strawberries-and-cream kind with a strong touch of vanilla (why some people call the vanilla flavor plain is beyond me). Enjoy.
Inspired from the lovely girls from Kiss the Cook.

Ingredients (makes 12 panacotas):

  • 500 ml sweet cream (30% fat)
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 1 and 1/2 pack of gelatin
  • pinch of salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 vial vanilla essence)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • a little sunflower kernel oil (or some other flavorless, odorless oil for greasing the forms)
For the toppings:

  • 300 g strawberries
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • about half a jar of orange caramel

Prepare 12 little forms of cups (we used ramekins and mini-tart tins). If you're really out of anything else you can use a muffin tin, but the final maneuvering will be slightly more difficult.

Put a little oil on the corner of a napkin and rub the insides of each little container:

In a small frying pan put about 1 cup of water and sprinkle the gelatin in it. Leave it to soak up:

Create a bain-marie by placing a smaller pot over a larger one filled with simmering water (in a way that fits, so you don't have to hold the small pot yourself). Put the cream, mascarpone, salt and sugar in it:

Stir and stir for 5-6 minutes (it's better with a whisk) until everything seems to have melted / blended into and even composition. Also add the soaked gelatin (make sure you gather it all - without adding the water too!):

Stir it also well throughout the whole thing, then remove from the heat. Pour half of the composition into another pot, then add to each the different flavorings (vanilla and lemon juice):

Mix well, then pour each cream into 6 individual pots and place them in the fridge. Keep for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For serving, decorate the vanilla panacotas with sliced strawberries drizzled with honey and the lemon panacotas with 2-3 teaspoons of orange caramel. Dig in! :)


  1. I would have loved to see the final product :) Nonetheless, awesome idea

  2. It's very visible in the final pictures.. just not in the main one where it's covered in topping.


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