Vanilla Panna Cotta


photo 2

Tomorrow will be my birthday. Ouch… another year, another wrinkle;-( and to make matter worse I will be returning back to work on Monday. I really love teaching, but getting up so early to be at school at 7:15 is hard!!! and I am not looking forward to it. I am sure that I am not the only one.

Because my birthday fell on Monday and my husband is on Friday, we had a few friends over for hors d’oeuvres on Saturday. Not a big fuss, just a few friends we had not seen over the summer and the chance to catch up. Of course, we needed to have food… because a party at the Wagner’s is never without food so I prepared a few things.

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On the menu we had:

  • Beef tenderloin
  • Marinated Shrimps
  • Quiches
  • Lasagna cupcakes
  • Wonton purse,
  • Texas caviar
  • Tomato Caprese
  • Deviled Eggs
  • and for dessert, mini chocolate darlings, and vanilla Panna cotta.

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I love to entertain and have friends over, but because it was so so nice on Saturday and I wanted to enjoy my pool for a while, I decided to do easy things for dinner. And it was the same with my desserts, i did not want to spend an hour making desserts so I decided to make mini chocolate darlings that cooked in 12 minutes and vanilla panna cotta ( less than 5 minutes).

Today I will share the recipe of Vanilla Panna Cotta. It is so so easy to make, it costs nothing and, and it is decadent;-)

Basically, the perfect dessert;-)

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photo 4Ingredients for 12 size cupcakes or about 20 shot glasses:

  • 2 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 envelope of gelatin from Knox
  • 1 tbsp of water
  1. Empty the content of the envelope into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water and stir. Set it aside to let the gelatin thickens.photo 5
  2. Pour the cream and the milk into a small saucepan and set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile place the vanilla bean onto a cutting board,  photo 1
  4. and with a sharp knife, open the side of the bean as shown.photo 2
  5. With the knife, or the spoon scrape the inside of the bean to get the seeds.photo 3
  6. Empty the seed into the cream. Throw the opened bean as well.photo 4
  7. Cook the cream until it comes to boil.
  8. Add the gelatin, turn the heat down and cook for another 5 minutes until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
  9. Sieve the mixture into a very fine sieve to remove some of the vanilla bean residue.photo 1
  10. Pour the mixture into a recipient of your choice. Sometimes I use my fancy flexipan, but today I used small shot glasses for a fun display.photo 2
  11. Place the panna cotta in the fridge for at least 6 hours. You may also place them into the freezer so that they will congeal much faster.
  12. Decorate as you wish. I chose the place a fresh raspberry but you could add a fresh fruit coulis instead or chocolate ….
  13. Enjoy!!! And it is okay to have more than one;-)))
  14. photo 3

If you decide to use a flexipan, freeze the panna cotta and unmold it as it is forzen, it will be much easier to remove from the flexipan;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate and Caramel Tiramisu- YUM!!!


I don’t eat a lot of desert, but when I do, it needs to be out of the ordinary and spectacular. It must;-) because I don’t want to waste those hours on a treadmill for nothing…Luckily the only desert that I really love are the homemade kind and the one from true French Patisserie so i am safe… I only indulge whenever I go out of town or when I made my own deserts. Since on the week-end, i let myself indulge a little more, I decided  to create une verrine ( desert served in a  shot glass). I got my inspiration from a French cookbook called “verrines sucrees” from the ESI Editions. Their verrine was a plain mascarpone mousse whereas mine is made with chocolate ( chocolate makes everything taste better:-)

Ingredients for 6 big glasses or 15 small shot glasses:

For the caramel: 120 gr of sugar, 50 gr of salted butter, 80ml or 2.5 oz of heavy cream.

Place a small saucepan on a stove on medium-high heat, and put half of the sugar in the pan. When the sugar is starting to melt and is bubbling, add the rest of the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is turning into a light brown caramel, remove it from the stove, add the melted butter and the cream ( it needs to be warm so as to prevent  splashing). Mix well and set aside.

Tiramisu mousse: 3 eggs, 60 gr. of sugar, 1 box of mascarpone, 6 shortbread cookies or sables bretons crumbled, 8oz of bittersweet chocolate( preferebly ghiradhelli).

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to make it smooth and set aside to cool. Separate the yolks from the egg whites. In a large sauce pan, bring some water to boil. When the water is boiling, lower the temperature and place the bowl with the egg yolks and the sugar on top of the boiling water. Keep the egg yolks over the steaming water until the yolks are warm to the touch, but make sure to stir so that the egg yolks will not curd. When the yolks are warm and the sugar has almost melted, place the bowl on your mixer and beat the egg yolks until they triple in volume and become whitish.  Slowly add the mascarpone and the melted but cool chocolate.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and incorporate them into the mascarpone mixture.

To create the verrine, fill the verrine with the chocolate/ mascarpone mixture up to half of the glass. Top with shortbread crumbles, then with the caramel. Then fill up the glass with more chocolate mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle some powder cocoa, and some chocolate shavings or raw chocolate crumbs. Place the verrrine in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 3 hours. After that, devour;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!