Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recettes Secrètes: Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta

Showing up to a dinner party empty handed just isn't an option. Wine, fine, but I still always feel guilty for not contributing more. For the last, I insisted on dessert as well. My brilliant party planning friend Nicolette of the Kitchen sugested this great recipe adapted from "The Craft of Baking" by Karen DeMasco (Clarkson Potter, 2009). It was easy and turned out delicious! The best part is that you can make it ahead of time, avoiding that whole potholders-in-the-car scenario we all love so much...

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta
Time: 20 minutes, plus 6 hours chilling
Makes 6 servings

1 1/8 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup Nutella
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts, for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk gelatin with 3 tablespoons cold water. Place chopped chocolate in another medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine Nutella and salt.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour half the cream over gelatin mixture and whisk gently to combine; stir in vanilla. Pour remaining cream over chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Combine two mixtures; whisk well.
Pour one-third of the gelatin-chocolate mixture over Nutella; beat using an electric mixer on low speed until a smooth paste forms. Pour in remaining mixture and milk; beat until fully combined.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into six ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until set, about six hours or overnight. Serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, if desired (I substituted chopped hazelnut Ritter Sport).

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