White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Cranberry Ginger Gelée
Creamy panna cotta nicely balances the tart, spicy layer of gelée. Serve this with a crisp ginger cookie or tuile for a contrast. You can make the dessert in whatever vessel you like (wine glasses and teacups are especially nice).
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WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1¾ teaspoons unflavored gelatin (can be found under the brand name Knox)
- 1½ cups half-and-half
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 4 ounces good-quality white chocolate (El Rey is preferred, but Lindt and Callebaut are also good), coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
CRANBERRY GINGER GELÉE
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1- to 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thick slices (amount depends on how much spice is desired)
- 1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin (can be found under the brand name Knox)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 scant tablespoon Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur (optional)
- THE WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA: Pour the water into a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside.
- Combine the half-and-half, buttermilk, coarsely chopped white chocolate, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is dissolved. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for about 10 seconds or just until it dissolves completely. Stir briefly, then stir into the chocolate mixture until well blended. Pour the panna cotta into individual ramekins or other serving dishes. Place in the fridge to set completely (2 to 4 hours) before making the gelée.
- THE CRANBERRY GINGER GELÉE: Combine the cranberries, ½ cup water, and the ginger in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the berries finish popping and release their juices, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool slightly. Puree and strain.
- Pour 2 tablespoons cold water into a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar and the remaining ¼ cup water in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook the syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the ginger liqueur if using. Add the cranberry puree to the sugar syrup, and stir to combine completely.
- Heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or just until the gelatin dissolves completely. Stir it into the cranberry mixture. Remove the panna cottas from the fridge, and pour a thin layer of the cranberry mixture on top, dividing it evenly between the ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight.
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