Panna Cotta is actually quite an old fashioned dessert in Italy. At the restaurant I was working at it was only made for large parties, and when I asked why it wasn’t on the regular Menu, I was told it was very dated, something out of the 80s! It’s quite popular here in Germany in Italien restaurants, but it’s never vegetarian. It’s a simple dessert made of cream, sugar, gelatin, and a flavouring of your choice. It works just as well with Agar Agar, but Agar Agar is unfortunately not very easy to dose. It needs to be precisely measured as just a fraction of a gram can make a big difference. Your regular kitchen scales aren’t normally sensitive enough to recognise just a gram, you’ll need a special scale for that, which are available for about € 15 online if you you think you’ll be needing one more regularly. If not your best bet if using a teaspoon to measure it, is to keep that exact spoon with your Agar Agar. (Not sure about you, but I have a lot of teaspoons and they are almost all different sizes). That way if your Panna Cotta turns out too soft or too firm, you can adjust the amount of Agar Agar a little more accurately.
A lot of people think Panna Cotta should be firm enough that it can stand on it’s own, others think that is a crime. But it’s all in the consistency. Panna Cotta should hold it’s form on it’s own but the moment you place a spoon full in your mouth it’s already melting away. If it’s anything like rubber, then it’s just not going to be enjoyable to eat.
500 g Cream
35 g Sugar
4 Stems of Rosemary
1,5 g / 1 level tsp Agar Agar
1. Put the Cream, Sugar and Rosemary in a Saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly, so that it doesn’t burn. When it reaches boiling point, turn the heat off and allow the Cream to infuse with the Rosemary for about 30 minutes.
2. Remove the Rosemary, add the Agar Agar and bring the Cream to boil again, stirring constantly. Allow the Cream to boil for at least 2 minutes, stirring constantly. This is important so that the Agar Agar works.
3. Strain through a Sieve into a Bowl. Allow the Cream to cool slightly and stir regularly so a Skin doesn’t form.
4. Pour the Cream into Glasses, or Forms of your choice and allow to cool in the Fridge for a few hours. Serve with seasonal Fruit!