Here is the other dessert that I made for my neighbor's sister's 50th birthday. Panna cotta is actually one of my favorite desserts. I'm not sure why, because it doesn't really taste like anything itself..unless you throw on some kind of topping, my favorite is a berry coulis. It's milky, and I love the texture, more of a firm custard. MMM. This too is a simple dessert with only a few ingredients! My neighbor wanted some sort of yellow fruit to fit into the yellow theme so I ended up cutting up pineapples to top off these individual panna cottas in 5oz clear glass cups, with a white fondant flower in the middle as an added touch. There are also many different variations of panna cotta out there, I used a vanilla one. The different variations consist not only of the flavor of the panna cotta itself, but the different types of dairy used, some call for half and half some for heavy cream, some whole milk. skim milk..etc etc..I chose this recipe from Epicurious, that called for heavy cream and half and half. I liked how the consistency of this one turned out. Very delicious!
•1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
•2 tablespoons cold water
•2 cups heavy cream
•1 cup half and half
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.
In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring.
Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla. Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. *I actually used 5 oz clear plastic cups because she used the panna cotta as part of a dessert spread. Make sure the panna cotta is completely cooled before sticking it in the fridge otherwise the plastic cups will crack.
If using ramekins, dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.