‘La festa degli innamorati’ is right around the corner and if you are like me, your preference is a quiet candlelit dinner at home, preferably near a toasty little fire with a nice bottle of bubbly prosecco to kick things off. By chance, I saw an adorable heart mold online and two days later, it was at my doorstep. (Grazie, magical Amazon Prime!)
So – big question….what to put in those adorable little hearts?? Why, panna cotta, of course! Panna cotta is super simple to make yet is INCREDIBLY.YUMMY! A few simple ingredients and magic happens. I have surrounded the little panna cotta hearts in a pool of valentine’s red pomegranate syrup sprinkled with a few pomegranate seeds. Zing – straight to the heart!
The other great thing is that this dessert can be completely made ahead of time – just plate and serve on the special day. This will leave you plenty of time for non-cooking activities J yet will leave your valentine duly impressed. No heart shaped mold? Do not fret – use big wine glasses or ramekins or any cool vessel to hold the panna cotta.
Buon San Valentino!
Heart-shaped Vanilla Panna Cotta
- Yield: 4-6
- Category: Dessert
- For the panna cotta:
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the pomegranate syrup:
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- ½ cup sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Fresh pomegranate seeds
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Whisk together. Let stand for a minute or two to allow it to “bloom” or soften.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, milk, sugar, and salt just to a boil, over medium heat, stirring. Turn down to a low simmer and add in the gelatin, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Divide evenly among the molds, ramekins or serving glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 4-6 hours.
- Make the syrup:
- Pour the pomegranate juice into a medium saucepan. Add in the sugar and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 ½ cups of liquid. This will take approximately 45-50 minutes. The juice should be the consistency of syrup and be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Allow the syrup to cool. Transfer to a glass jar. Any remaining syrup can be stored in the refrigerator.
- If using a mold, unmold the panna cotta onto a plate. Drizzle pomegranate syrup around the base. Sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds.
- If serving in its glass or ramekin, top with some of the pomegranate syrup and add some fresh pomegranate seeds. Serve!
Special equipment: Heart shaped silicone mold (optional)