It’s not a secret that I like to eat. I’m an equal opportunity eater at both super hole in the wall places that never mop their floors to swanky Michelin star restaurants with two month waiting lists. I won’t say a food is good just based off of where I am. A few months ago, I went to Ame and I wasn’t all that impressed… until the earl grey panna cotta came out.
Panna cotta has never been a wow factor for me. It’s just a concoction of milk, cream, sugar, and gelatin – nothing that really takes a lot of pastry artistry. But Ame’s panna cotta had a great flavor profile. The earl grey notes were extremely rich giving every bite a lovely smoky flavor. Honestly, I can’t remember what was served with the panna cotta and I kind of don’t care; all I want is to replicate the panna cotta at this point.
Earl Grey Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 package Knox unflavored gelatin (1 tablespoon)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups rough cut strawberries
- ½ lemon, juice
- Fresh mint, chiffonade
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- In a medium saucepan, place the tea bags into the cup of milk and heat over medium low heat to steep the tea. When milk is warm, turn off heat and let stand for about 10 minutes with tea bags still steeping.
- Remove tea bags and sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let stand for about 5 minutes to soften gelatin powder.
- Stir and heat the milk and gelatin mixture over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves but do not allow milk to boil; turn down the burner as necessary.
- Add heavy cream, honey, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt to the saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves without allowing mixture to boil for about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.
- Pour contents into glasses and allow to cool slightly at room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours until set.
- In a small saucepan, combine rough cut strawberries, remaining sugar, lemon juice, and mint.
- Bring mixture to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes and strain mixture and allow to cool.
- Add finely diced strawberry to coulis.
- Spoon coulis on top of panna cotta.
If you’re an earl grey fan and want the flavors to be very in-your-face, you can use up to five bags of tea bags. This will just create an extremely fragrant blend of panna cotta. However, if you’re into subtlety and prefer hints of earl grey in your dessert, you can go down to three bags of tea instead. The amount of tea bags just depends on your personal preference.
I would also suggest using a peach coulis instead of strawberry. When I first thought of making panna cotta, I originally wanted to make it with peach because the natural stone undertones of earl grey go very well with the sweet acidic fruit. Not to mention I love the texture of peaches. Unfortunately, the dumb-dumb that I am, I set out in the dead of winter to the grocery store and realized it wasn’t even close to peach season. I went with strawberries instead for some acidity.