Eating is awesome, but what to do during those in-between meal times when you're not hungry? Work up an appetite by reading food-themed literature, that's what. Or at least that's what I do (when I'm not painting anthropomorphic pastries, of course).
So I was delighted to receive a review copy of Georgia's Kitchen, a novel wherein the namesake character is a New York chef who goes to Italy to find herself, both in a culinary and existential sense. The book is full of sensual descriptions of delicious food (hooray!). While there isn't a heavy dessert presence, happily I was able to catch up with author Jenny Nelson, who was able to answer the question: what type of dessert keeps authors inspired? Here's what she had to say about one of her favorite recipes, for Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta:
Panna cotta, a deceptively simple Italian dessert that means, literally, cooked cream, is one of my favorite desserts to make, serve and – most important – eat! I serve it all the time -- at dinner parties, holidays and even as a weekday treat for my kids. It’s elegant, delicious and so, so easy to prepare. While tasty panna cotta recipes abound, this is one of my all-time favorites. You can make it even richer using all cream, but I opt for a more healthful 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk. Either way, it’s delicious.
Honey-Yogurt Panna Cotta with Berries
- 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup half and half, 1 cup whole milk; or 2 cups whole milk)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey, plus more for serving
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are my favorites)
- Place cream and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring cream to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover pan, remove from heat, and set aside steep, at least 10 minutes.
- Place 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over water; set aside to soften, at least 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, honey, vanilla and salt until combined; set aside.
- Return cream to a boil. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in softened gelatin until dissolved.
- Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into yogurt-honey mixture; mix until combined.
- Divide mixture among eight 4- to 6-ounce ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
- Wash berries and, if necessary, cut into bite-size pieces. Mix together and set aside