Pretty F-ing Crazy Vanilla Panna Cotta

21 11 2011

Let me start right off my saying THIS ISNT A DESSERT IF YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.. this is completely a maintenance phase dessert. I only say this because it uses ultra high fat cream, which IF you had a surgery that has mal-absorption (specifically RNY) this is rough on your system until the mal-absorption sort of “rights itself”. I can tolerate more fat now that I could in the beginning, and it is due in a large part to your body getting better at uptaking food you eat post 18 months of surgery.
This dessert is simplistic elegance

SO, anatomy lesson over, this is all about this amazing dessert.. one that my friend Linsday mentioned to me months ago. She was newly dating and made panna cotta as a WLS friendly dessert for a date night and she raved about it. I came across a recipe recently from a Low Carb cookbook from a chef in Vancouver that uses liquid Sugar Twin. I am not sure how many people use this, I always associated it with old school people who weren’t hip to Splenda, but this book set me straight. Liquid Sugar Twin is only available in Canada, and is made from a sugar derivative called cyclamate. It has fabulous stability in baking, like sucralose (Splenda) isnt a sugar alcohol so it doesn’t have GI upset some get from AS and it is much sweeter than Splenda, so you use a fraction.
I was doubtful but for $4 in Loblaws I was willing to give it a go.

SO how does it taste?? WELP… you know when you had a hard day, and would buy a Hagen Dazs Vanilla Ice cream, and then leave it on the counter for 15 minutes so it would soften up? That first scoop when you gather all the melted vanilla ice cream from the edges on your spoon.. that is what this dessert tastes like. It is wickedly delicious, and portion control is the key. I set this dessert in shot glasses, so you can have an ounce or two of deliciousness without killing your gut.

Vanilla Panna Cotta
from Low Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnby

1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tsp unflavoured gelatin (Knox brand in the orange box near the jello)
3 cups whipping cream (serious though.. use only whipping cream,35% -anything less wont gel properly)
1/2 whole vanilla bean
2 tbsp dry Splenda
2 tbsp liquid Sugar Twin

In a small bowl place 1/4 cup of the water and sprinkle the 2 1/2 teaspoons of unflavoured gelatin over the water and set aside.

Get out a nice thick bottomed saucepan, and add 1 1/2 cups of the whipping cream, slit the vanilla bean down the middle, open it up and throw the whole thing as you are going to let the entire bean infuse the cream. Bring this whole mixture to a gentle boil, not too fast though as you dont want the cream to burn.

Take off burner and add the bowl of unflavoured gelatin, which by now is a semi-solid and stir until dissolved in the warm cream. Remove vanilla bean, scrapping out any bits with a knife and adding it to your heated mixture. Stir in both sweeteners and the remaining 1.5 cups of cream and it give it a good stir.
You want all the black gritty stuff in the vanilla bean

Pour the whole thing out of the saucepan and into something that makes pouring into small mouth shot glasses easy. This recipe makes 3ish cups of dessert, I used 15-2 ounce shot glasses, so 30 ounces of dessert in total. Pour into the vessel of choice and let it sit in the fridge for at least four hours to firm up. I really like this dessert because I can make ahead, and have left it for 48 hours before a dinner party.

I think these were the hit of my dessert-a-palooza.. In the previous post (lemon squares) there is a picture of them in the foreground. It is a super rich dessert, so 2 ounces is perfect and please be pleasantly surprised by the nuts if you keep it small.

Calories 85, Carbs 1g, Fat 9g, Protein 1g

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