Holiday perfect dessert: panna cotta with peaches

Easy, inexpensive and eye-catching holiday dessert. Classic panna cotta topped with slices of peaches arranged in a burst pattern. Gorgeous. Delicious.

Panna cotta is an Italian creamy pudding made by cooking cream, sugar and gelatin, letting the mixture cool until firm, then serving it plain or topped with fruits or nuts, or even drizzled with syrup. Unlike a gelatin pudding, there is more liquid and less gelatin in panna cotta to achieve that soft and creamy texture. But that, of course, is not a hard and fast rule. Use the proportion that will yield a texture that you like best.

Although the Italian name may sound intimidating, panna cotta is really simple to make. It is also a very inexpensive dessert. And yet, you can prepare it in such a way that it looks really sophisticated. »

There’s more to pudding than bread and milk

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Growing up, when someone mentioned "pudding" at home, it meant a mixture of torn stale bread, eggs and milk poured into molds then steamed until firm. Had anyone said that leche flan and molded gelatin were also puddings, people would have been horrified. But it is true, the bread-eggs-milk pudding is only one … »

The Valentine’s Day version of the cathedral’s window (Christmas) jello

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If you're no expert (yet) at making picture-perfect desserts but you want to make something that is liked by everyone, try this strawberry and almond jello, the Valentine's Day version of the cathedral's window a.k.a. Christmas jello.The white cubes are made with almond-flavored gelatin and cream (technically, panna … »

Chocolate panna cotta with vanilla ice cream and strawberry syrup

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If you're not tired of desserts yet, neither am I. So many things I can do with the vanilla ice cream I made a couple of days ago. We're down to our last few scoops and I thought I'd use what's left of the ice cream to create something related to what reader Mik described in a comment she posted in the previous entry. … »

Chilled mango pudding

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Based on the Vietnamese mango pudding of Kam Fook Restaurant in Sydney, as prepared in an episode of Food Safari, I made these cups of mango pudding without really knowing the exact proportions of the ingredients. I would find out 24 hours later that the recipe is available online. Everything worked out fine, nonetheless, … »

Chocolate and coffee panna cotta

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I'm still playing around with easy but drop-dead gorgeous desserts I can make over the holidays. I made this while my younger daughter Alex, home from school with a bad cold, hovered impatiently waiting for the gelatin to set. I told her to take a hot shower and the panna cotta would be ready by the time she was done. … »