Chocolate Panna Cotta Will Cure What Ails You

It would be a mistake to underestimate the healing powers of chocolate. It really would. Now, I'm not a "chocoholic" or whatever silly name you'd like to call someone who's obsessed in chocolate. In fact, I generally don't gravitate towards super rich chocolatey desserts. This panna cotta, however, is amazing. And it's heavier than the yogurt-based panna cotta I've made before and yes, there's dark chocolate involved, but it's not too much. In fact, it's just the right amount of much. I made this for one of my Friday Dinners and originally intended to serve it with a stout reduction. The stout reduction was a big flop but I learned some valuable lessons from the failed experiment. For example, if something is destined to fail from the start, adding more ingredients to it isn't going to help. If the internet tells you that there's a proper way to make a stout reduction, you should listen to the internet. Don't try to be a hero. Perhaps this lesson applies to more than just recipes! Hmmm, I'll let you ponder that while I get on with the recipe part of this post.

*Apologies for the crummy photos. Paige had nothing to do with these.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

2 cups whipping cream

2 1/4 teaspoons Knox unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup sugar

6 ounces chopped dark chocolate

Something for garnish

Start by sprinkling the gelatin over the cup of milk and let it soak about 5 minutes. While that's happening, heat the whipping cream and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the cream to a boil, remove from heat, and quickly add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk well! Then, whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the milk/gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Pour into your molding receptacle (a quick shot of canola oil spray wouldn't hurt if you're squeamish about unmolding), cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. When you're ready to serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the cups to loosen the panna cotta before unmolding on plates. You could also serve this in a pretty glass and avoid the awkward unmolding part altogether!

Be sure to garnish with something tasty. I've made various different sauces for panna cotta in the past but this time I went with a few slices of banana and it ended up being perfect. Bananas may just be the perfect food. Courtney knows what I'm talking about.

That is a fine looking plate of panna cotta and banana slices. Yes, ma'am.

I'll be back soon with a glorious post about everybody's favorite puffy stuff: marshmallows. Unfortunately, I won't have a New Year's mold to share because I was down for the count on New Year's. The month of December just took the wind right out of my sails and I was sick, sick, sick for the holidays. Big jello plans going forward though - I even received a few jello-related Christmas gifts! Exciting stuff. Stay tuned.

Happy Molding!