Panna Cotta

This Italian dessert literally means “cooked cream”. Though gourmets would prefer to make it with all cream, our version has part cream and part milk, which makes it a little lighter, but still as good on taste. A variety of toppings can be used with Panna Cotta. In the picture I have used a seasonal fruit-salad tossed with some honey. You could also use fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, fudge sauce, chocolate sauce or a combination …there is no dearth of possibilities there. So, have fun doing the mix-n-match.

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Ready in: 4 hrs 20 min

Makes 8 servings

• 1 ½ cup Heavy cream ( Whipping Cream)
• ½ cup white granulated sugar
• 1 ½ cup 2% milk
• 1 (.25 oz) packet unflavored gelatin
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

You will also need:
• 1 medium mixing bowl
• 1 heavy bottomed medium saucepan
• 8 ramekins/ espresso cups/ dessert bowls

• In the medium mixing bowl, combine the 2% milk and gelatin. Set aside.
• In the sauce pan combine the Heavy Cream and sugar and set in medium heat. Keep stirring till the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from stove.
• Add the milk and gelatin mixture to it** . Stir to blend.
• Add the vanilla extract. Stir to bend.
• Pour the mixture, equally divided, into the ramekins. Refrigerate for at-least 4 hours before serving

**While trying out any recipe with gelatin, to avoid clumping, make sure to mix it with a liquid in room temperature (in this recipe- adding 2% milk) before mixing it with a hot ingredient.

Note: The nutrition information provided below is for 1 serving

Caramel Custard

This heavenly tasting thing is an all-time crowd pleaser and Joe’s most favorite ; mine too . I think it originated in one of the European countries , most likely France, where it is called crème caramel. It is quite a popular dessert in India , where the custard is mostly made from scratch boiling down the milk ,egg and sugar mixture and then pressure cooked. After several unsuccessful attempts to re-create it here in the conventional oven , a friend of mine had a light-bulb moment : why not try making it like the Vanilla Flan , which is a traditional American dessert. So, with some tweaking , she successfully made and Indian style Caramel Custard in the conventional oven. Ever since I got this recipe from her I have made it and served it several times for family and friends ..and hope you do the same too.

Prep time :15 min

Cooking time :45 min

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients :

For the custard:

- 3 large eggs

- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

- 14 oz whole or 2% milk

- 1 tbs vanilla essence

- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg ( optional: use it only if you like the spicy flavor)

For the Caramel Sauce

- ¾ cup granulated sugar

You will also need :

- 9” round cake pan or pie plate

- Medium Bowl for mixing the ingredients

- Small Saucepan for making caramel sauce

- Roasting pan / or any oven-safe pan bigger than the cake pan to make a water-bath


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat the sugar in the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until dissolved and caramel colored. Quickly pour onto bottom of the cake pan ; swirl around bottom and sides to coat .
  • Combine milk and sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl. Pour into prepared cake pan (which already has the caramelized sugar). Place cake pan in the large roasting pan; fill roasting pan with warm water to about 1-inch depth.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove custard from water. Leave in room temperature to cool. Then, refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

    TO SERVE: run small spatula around edge of pie plate. Invert serving plate over the custard- pan. Turn over; shake gently to release. Caramelized sugar forms sauce.

Note : The nutrition data listed below is for one serving.