Valentine’s Day is here again and the same question of “What am I going to make for Valentine’s Dinner” comes up. We rarely go out for Valentine’s day. Mostly because it falls in the middle of the week and secondly I am using disappointed by the dinner. Restaurants are slammed and what you are wanting to be an intimate shared meal with the person you love turns into getting accidentally socked in the face by the person squeezing into the table next to you. I’m not a sardine and I don’t like to be packed in like one!
Always a sucker for desserts each year I try to make a new one and after 13 Valentine’s I can tell you that this has been the best received ! My husband took on the duty of trying these in advance so that I could deliver you a pretty amazing dessert and he has given his happy husband stamp of approval. 🙂
This vanilla lemon panna cotta is the perfect like and luxurious dessert to finish a meal or better yet a bottle of champagne. Silky and oh so perfectly balanced with the fruity strawberry lillet sauce. Lillet is a French aperitif that is citrusy in flavor and gives the sauce a subtle bright floral finish. Each bite makes you want to pat yourself on the back for being an amazing Valentine and because you made this ahead of time! Go ahead and make these perfect treats 2 days ahead of time and store unassembled in the fridge. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Luxurious and decadent vanilla panna cotta accompanied by a strawberry sauce studded with my favorite aperitif, Lillet Blanc
- 2.5 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup caster sugar (extra fine sugar)
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Lillet Blanc
- 2 cups strawberries hulled/halved
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons raspberry sugar
Add gelatin to 2 tablespoons of cold water. Stir once and allow to sit and bloom for 5 minutes.
In medium sized saucepan heat half and half, cream, and sugar over medium-medium low heat for 5 minutes. Cream mixture should not boil! Add gelatin mix and continue cooking for 2 minutes stirring until gelatin and sugar are dissolved. Do not boil! Remove from heat.
Scrap the vanilla bean seeds and add them along with the pod to the cream mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Divide mixture among 4- 4oz ramekins or 6 heart shaped silicone molds. Chill for 7 hours or over night.
Add all of the strawberry Lillet sauce ingredients to a non reactive small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 8-9 minutes or until strawberries are softened. Remove from heat and blend mixture with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Run a knife around the edges of your molds. Dip the bottoms in a bowl of warm water. Place serving plate on top of the mold. Invert and unmold your panna cotta. Drizzle desired amount of strawberry sauce around the panna cotta and garnish with raspberry sugar.
Lillet Blanc is a citrus flavored aperitif from France. Very lovely and compliments the panna cotta beautifully.
Do not allow the gelatin mixture to boil! The extreme heat will render the gelatin ineffective and you mad that you wasted your time!
Feel free to adjust the sugar amounts in the strawberry sauce based upon your sweetness preference.
These can be made 2 days prior to serving unassembled.
Be careful if you are putting hot liquids in a blender! Always hold the top with a towel so the lid doesn’t blow off.