When my pie day partner in crime, Trisha from The Lazy Mom’s Cooking Blog, suggested panna cotta as a dessert for Pearls + Girls Fan Favorite Month, I was intrigued. First of all, I’ve never made panna cotta, and second of all, I have been DYING to make a dessert with a real Madagascar vanilla bean. I typically use really good vanilla extract, but I’ve never, ever used a vanilla bean.
When I was pregnant I craved two things: grapefruit and root beer floats. Strange, I know. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have bald babies…..my biggest baby-related fear lol. Panna cotta is usually served with a fruit gelee or coulis, but I thought it would be interesting to combine one of my favorite prego combinations: root beer + vanilla.
One day, a man was abducted by pirates. He was forced to walk the plank, but before he did he yelled, “STOP!”
“I want one thing before I die,” he said.
They looked at him funny, but went ahead and gave it to him.
He would have died that day, but luckily, ‘root beer floats.‘
I know, I know, corny joke, but it got me thinking…..usually the ice cream floats in the root beer, BUT for this dessert, the ‘root beer’ floats on the ‘ice cream.’ In other words, a root beer gelee floats on a creamy vanilla panna cotta pudding, taking a good ole root beer float and transforming it into an elegant dessert! I know, I thought that was impossible, too! May I present a fancified version of a childhood classic, Root Beer + Vanilla Panna Cotta. P.S. No straw necessary. Enjoy! 🙂
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeded
- 2 - 1/4 oz. packets gelatin
- 1 - 12 oz. bottle root beer
- Pour milk into a medium sized bowl and sprinkle with one packet of gelatin. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
- In a medium pot, add the cream, scraped vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla bean pod.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking to distribute the seeds throughout the cream mixture.
- Remove from heat and add the sugar, whisking until it is dissolved.
- Remove the vanilla bean pod, and strain the mixture through a sieve into the bowl with the milk and gelatin. Whisk to combine.
- Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then whisk again and pour into 4 ramekins or dessert bowls. (I used stemless martini glasses, but a wine glass would give the same effect because you can see the layers).
- Chill until set, about an hour.
- Pour half the root beer into a small bowl and sprinkle with one packet of gelatin. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Warm the remaining root beer in a pan over medium heat or in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl until hot.
- Add the hot root beer to the small bowl of root beer and gelatin. Whisk to combine.
- Pour root beer gelee over the chilled panna cotta, and chill for an additional hour. Serve chilled.
Adapted from: Food Network