Post image for Brown Butter Panna Cotta

Brown Butter Panna Cotta

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on August 6, 2010

When I found out that my friend Elissa was hosting this month‘s sugar high fridays (created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess), I couldn’t pass it up. The moment I read “brown butter” as the theme, my mind was swimming with ideas and possibilities. Sure, I could do a cake or pie, but I wanted to try something new. To make something that felt good and was simple yet magnificent. With many memories of panna cotta on vacation, I really wanted to try this gentle yet elegant dessert. So there it was, brown butter panna cotta.

The only question that came next was how to make it. I had never made a panna cotta before. I can’t believe I’m typing those words, because it’s dead simple. Seriously, anyone can make this. Whether you use my version or someone else’s, you can whip it up in no time, with minimal effort. The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready (or maybe the brown butter). For this version, with brown butter, all you need is Elise. It works beautifully. Just keep a close eye, read over the comments (such as being sure to use a light-coloured pan) if you’re nervous, and go for it.

Once the brown butter is done, the panna cotta is finished and it starts to cool in the fridge, a beautiful thing happens. Not only do the ingredients come together to form this soft creamy experience, but the clarified butter rises to the top. It’s telling you which parts are for eating now and which are for another time. Don’t touch it though. When it’s all done, has been cooled thoroughly and is just about to be eaten, you can peel it off. Scooping with a knife or fork also does the trick. Just be sure to leave all of that sensuous panna cotta alone. You don’t want to miss a bite of that. Or at least I don’t.

Before going on this vacation, I don’t think a spoonful of panna cotta had ever graced my lips. After my first bite, I knew there was no going back. We may not buy cream all that often, but I will walk to the store myself to get some for this wonderful treat. The best part is how well it works with flavours. From the flawless and complex vanilla to a vehicle for any fruit you can dream of, I’ve found a new indulgence. The best (or worst) part is the simplicity. Any day, any time, you can have this for dessert. A few moments hours earlier (before you leave for work or school perhaps), and this guy will be all ready when you get home. Unmold and you’re set.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

This is that layer you want to remove.  Just peel it off, and you’re all ready to unmold and enjoy!

Depending on the size of custard cup you use, you can turn it out onto lovely old plates.  Even a saucer that has been in the family for generations :).

Ahh… just what you need.  The aroma of the brown butter is to die for.

Any shape works!  You can eat it all by yourself, or share with a friend.  It’s just as good either way!

So there you have it. A simple, delicious dessert that anyone can make. I know that this will not be the last time I play with it! Not to mention the brown butter. That, I will use time and time again. Such a delicious, nutty, heavenly thing.


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

emily s August 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

What a creative idea for the “brown butter” theme! LOVE it! I’ve never made panna cotta, so I will definitely have to try this : ) Lovely photos!

carrie @ August 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

That is so beautiful Lauren!! What a lovely easy dessert! Hmm… wondering if I should try a coconut cream panna cotta… now you’ve got the wheels turning!! :-) Have a lovely vacation!

Cheryl Arkison August 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

I adore panna cotta. It is one of those things that sounds scary, then you make it and wonder why you never did it before.
PS That striped napkin, where does it come from?

Lauren | Celiac Teen August 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Cheryl, I believe it’s from Crate & Barrel. I got it a few months ago :).

Hallie @ Daily Bites August 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

What an elegant recipe! Great job. :)

Elissa August 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm

OH MY GOODNESS. LAUREN. This is such an incredible idea!!! I would have never even dared to incorporate brown butter into a panna cotta (which I’ve never made either.) I love the speckles on top and I’m jealous of how creamy it looks. Seriously, it’s gorgeous.

gfe--gluten free easily August 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Oh panna cotta … and brown butter panna cotta–oh my. Wishing I had some of this right now. I remember the very first time I had panna cotta. A dear friend made it for me. But, I’ve never made panna cotta … I like how you say it’s “dead simple.” :-)

Thanks, Lauren!


Vincci August 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm

That does look easy… and delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

cheryl August 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I’ve never made a panna cotta and I’m intrigued. It looks lovely.

Erica Lea August 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

Oh Lauren, it looks delicious! I tasted panna cotta for the first time a few months ago, and I was hooked. So creamy and rich and flavorful. I like mine with seedless raspberry jam.

Celiacs in the House August 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Your food writing just keeps getting better. I also loved that you used an old family heirloom in your food photography. You make a very convincing case for panna cotta, but do I really need another addiction?

Lindsay at Kitchen Operas August 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Lauren, this looks GORGEOUS! And I’m sure it was so delicious with the brown butter and the blueberries. Mmmm.

I must give this a try! Thanks for the recipe!

Maggie Vincent August 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for this, can you tell me how much gelatin is in a ‘packet of powdered gelatin’ as we buy it differently here in Australia and I want to make this with my daughter.

Lauren | Celiac Teen August 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Maggie, thank you for catching that! One packet is 7 grams or 1/4 ounces of powdered gelatin. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Jenn/CinnamonQuill August 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe I’ve never had panna cotta! The texture looks incredible…is it kind of like creme brulee? Gorgeous and enticing.

Lauren | Celiac Teen August 19, 2010 at 11:14 am

Jenn, it’s a silky smooth gelatinous dish that’s much creamier and softer than Jello. I don’t know how similar it is to creme brulee because I haven’t had it in ages, but I think it’s slightly firmer than that :). It’s sort of hard to explain – try it!

Lexi September 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. My friend is a celiac, so she’ll love this. I’m allergic to dairy but I couldn’t imagine being a celiac.

Articut at simply tasty food September 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

Classic but the ingredients quantity looks interesting, i must try the recipe and let you know……..Bye thank for the tips

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