Greeks during summer we count how many ice creams have we eaten, but around Christmas…
Panna cotta: the greek way.
After almost two weeks of non-stop eating due to Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays it’s very hard to say goodbye to all of these tempting desserts and delicacies.
If you are a loyal reader of my blog you will already know that I have one big love when it comes to Greek Christmas desserts and this is the melomakarona (you can find the recipe by clicking here). These delicious little honey cookies flavored with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves, drenched in a honey syrup and topped with walnuts are the epitome of Greek Christmas. 355 days until the next
Well, Christmas is on the past now and what I have kept from them two things: honey and walnuts. Ok, and some pounds but I will lose them asap.
Do you remember the two greek baskets from the Hellenic Food Basket? If not, allow me to your memory. During December, Hellenic Food Basket send me two greek baskets; one basket had inside pine tree honey and orange blossom honey (which I used for making melomakarona) and the second basket had inside cycladic oregano, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, fava Santorini (which I used for making Grilled Octopus With Santorini Fava), handmade trahanas and capers Santorini. All of these products grown and produced with care by local and small and larger businesses. The producers cultivate the Greek land with ultimate respect and come up with superior-quality products that can make a decisive contribution to a healthy lifestyle.
The pine tree honey delivered to me was excelled in the 2017 Great Taste Awards, among thousands of products from all over the world and was awarded with a gold star, for its unique taste and quality. On the melomakarona recipe I used the orange blossom honey, but now it’s the turn of the pine tree honey for topping my panna cotta.
The traditional Italian panna cotta recipe calls for cream, sugar and gelatine although the numerous and increasingly lighter versions have rather strayed away from the original concept. Variations can be made to the sauce since the traditional caramel sauce can be replaced by strawberry, raspberry or melted chocolate.
I have made a long research for finding the perfect panna cotta for me and end up on a lighter and healthier version since the panna cotta that I choosed to make is topped with honey. The recipe that I followed was first published by my favourite Greek chef Akis Petretzikis.
Before decide to make the panna cotta with yogurt I ought to remind you that panna cotta is a dessert that should be mabe at least 3 hours before serving, since you have to place the dessert in the fridge and leave to set for 1-2 hours. When I say 3 hours I have in mind the whole procedure, preparation, cooking time etc.
Making panna cotta with yogurt
Ingredients for making panna cotta with yogurt:
- 2 ½ teaspoons (7 g) unflavored gelatin powder
- 450 g strained Greek yogurt (full fat)
- 225 ml milk
- 225 ml heavy cream
- 70 g granulated sugar
- lemon juice from ½ lemon (about 30 ml)
- 110-170 g pine tree honey (it’s up to you)
- 55-85 g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped*
*After taking the photos and during eating the panna cotta I realized that I did not chop mine walnuts. You see I was in hurry in order to take some photos on the daily light.
Method for making panna cotta with yogurt:
If you are planning to unmold the panna cotta, brush 6 ramekins. You can also serve panna cotta on a glass in order not to unmold it.
Put the water in a small bowl and add the gelatin and let it soften, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine milk and heavy cream.
In another larger bowl add and lightly beat the yogurt and then add the half of the amount of the milk-heavy cream mixture, with a hand whisk. Set aside.
In a small pot simmer the remaining milk-heavy cream mixture and sugar. Add the water-gelatin mixture (it will dissolve immediately), and remove from heat. Then add this mixture to the yogurt mixture and add the lemon juice.
Divide the mixture equally to the 6 ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve to unmold the ramekins, by filling a small pot with water and letting it simmer for a bit. Dip the lower part of the ramekins in the pot for 5 seconds. Turn each one out on to a serving plate. Pray to God the panna cotta to be unmolded (optional).
To serve, top each panna cotta with 1-2 teaspoons of honey and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. These will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Someone topped panna cotta with 1-2 tablespoons, not teaspoons. Oops!
I hope to like my post and to share your thoughts and suggestions below on the comments section!