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Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta {No Bake Recipe}

Ginger-lemon panna cotta is a creamy, no bake, sweet custard dessert, bursting with fresh lemon flavor. Topped with crumbled ginger snap cookies, it’s an easy-to-make, elegant looking dessert.

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta - This custard-based dessert is fancy enough for company, but so easy to make, you could have it any day! Get this dessert recipe from @itsyummi at itsyummi.com

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The thought of making panna cotta has always been intimidating and a bit scary to me. Part of the reason is because the dessert always looks so flawless when I see it in magazine photos, and I expect that same perfect result. I really need to stop comparing my skills to food photographers and chefs who have decades more experience than I do.

As I learned during culinary training, sweet custard desserts like this ginger-lemon panna cotta aren’t difficult to make at all! There is no baking involved, but it’s still important to measure the ingredients, and by “measuring”, I mean weighing them on a kitchen scale.

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta - This custard-based dessert is fancy enough for company, but so easy to make, you could have it any day! Get this dessert recipe from @itsyummi at itsyummi.com

Why I’m so danged passionate about using a kitchen scale to weigh out ingredients:

Weighing ingredients is the key to having consistent results, especially where baking is concerned. Granted, it can take longer to weigh ingredients, but there’s a successful dessert that will make it all worthwhile.

See, baking is a science. The ingredients in a recipe rely on one another to make a successful creation. For example, the flour in a cake relies on just the right amount of baking soda to help it rise. Without enough leavening, your banana cake could look like this. Too much leavening will cause large holes (tunneling) to appear throughout the cake. Cooking isn’t as much of a science. You can add more beans to your chili than the recipe calls for, and it will still taste delicious. But have you ever not measured chipotle pepper? There’s a pretty large difference between 1/8 teaspoon and a 1/4 teaspoon when it comes to spices like that.

Relying on measuring cups and spoons for baking can sometimes lead to disaster. Think about it with this example: One day, I measure flour by packing it into a measuring cup. The next time I bake, I use a spoon, gently placing the flour into the cup before leveling it off at the rim. Then, I decide to measure ingredients while a 2-year old is tugging at the leg of my pants. I’m not paying full attention, so the cup is only filled 7/8ths full.

If you were to use a kitchen scale to measure each of those three batches of flour, the results might surprise you. Cup one, the packed flour, could easily be 2 ounces heavier than the third cup. 2 ounces is 1/4 of a cup of flour… that’s a lot of extra, unnecessary flour in your dessert!

To summarize, weighing the ingredients is the most accurate way to guarantee that your panna cotta will be smooth, creamy, and delicious!

The only other part of making this dessert that can tricky is releasing the panna cotta from the ramekins. The reason that my panna cotta has little indentations on top is because I had trouble getting it to release. If I had read my notes from pastries class first, I would have been reminded to use my fingers instead of a fork. 😉

My monthly subscription to Cook’s Illustrated paid off for me here. The tutorial with images on their website’s panna cotta recipe was helpful, but it had teeny tiny instructions, so I used PicMonkey to make a collage out of the pictures instead.

Picture tutorial for the correct way to remove panna cotta from ramekins.

See? It’s not very difficult at all to make this delicious dessert. The next time I make it, I’ll know better, so my end result will look much prettier than this one does. It won’t win any awards for gorgeousness, but it sure is yummi!

If you decide to make this (and I hope you will!), please share it with me on Instagram (tag me), or share it on the wall of my Facebook page.

Here’s the ginger-lemon panna cotta recipe. Enjoy!

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta - This custard-based dessert is fancy enough for company, but so easy to make, you could have it any day! Get this dessert recipe from @itsyummi at itsyummi.com

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta {No Bake Recipe}

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta - This custard-based dessert is fancy enough for company, but so easy to make, you could have it any day!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Chill Time 4 hrs
Total Time 22 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8 servings
Calories 370 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 lemon zested in strips or large pieces, without white pith
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1/3 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • crumbled ginger snap cookies for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Place eight 4-ounce ramekins onto a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Pour milk into a medium saucepan; sprinkle the gelatin evenly over surface of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes to hydrate the gelatin.
  • Meanwhile, make an ice bath in a large stainless steel bowl by adding a couple of trays of ice cubes into a large bowl. Pour 4 cups cold water over the ice.
  • Into another large bowl, add heavy cream, lemon extract, and lemon zest pieces; set aside.
  • Heat milk/gelatin mixture over high heat, stirring constantly for about 90 seconds, or until gelatin is dissolved and mixture registers 135 degrees F. on an instant-read cooking thermometer. Remove from heat, add sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved, about 1 minute.
  • Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream mixture into saucepan with milk, then transfer mixture to medium bowl and set bowl over ice water bath. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and registers 50 degrees on a cooking thermometer. Strain mixture into a large measuring cup or pitcher, stir in lemon juice, then distribute evenly into ramekins on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap, making sure that plastic does not touch the surface of the panna cotta; refrigerate until just set (still a little jiggly in the center), about 4 hours.
  • Before serving, sprinkle crumbled ginger snaps over each panna cotta.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Nutrition

Serving: 1panna cottaCalories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 4gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 133mgSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1360IUVitamin C: 10.6mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

Ginger-Lemon Panna Cotta - This custard-based dessert is fancy enough for company, but so easy to make, you could have it any day! Get this dessert recipe from @itsyummi at itsyummi.com

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