a panna’s cotta do what a panna’s cotta do
Sorry for the cheesy post title – I tried my hardest. At least our panna cotta came out beautiful, and, well, not that cheesy.
The first step in making our panna cotta, after greasing and preparing the ramekins, was to bloom the gelatin in the milk.
When the surface of the milk began to look wrinkled, we dissolved the gelatin over low heat.
Then, we dissolved the sugar in the milk, whisked in the cream, vanilla and salt, poured the mixture into our four ramekins, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The next step was to start the caramel sauce, by melting the butter in the cream.
After taking the cream and butter mixture off the stove, we started the caramelization process, by combining sugar and water in our saucepan and heating the mixture to 250F.
Because we wanted to make a sweet caramel sauce, this is the point to which we let our caramel darken – then we added the cream and butter from before, and voila!
We also made additional caramel decorations, with which to adorn the tops of our panna cotta.
And here is our assembled panna cotta!
- Why is the darker caramel, less sweet?
- Volatile aroma molecules are fruity, floral, and sweet-tasting, while less volatile aroma molecules are nutty, bittersweet, and complex-tasting. Because volatile molecules are more likely to evaporate into the air when heated, caramel that is lighter (and therefore cooked for a shorter amount of time) retain more volatile molecules and remain sweet tasting, while caramel that is darker (cooked for longer) lose more volatile aroma molecules and retain nutty-tasting, non-volatile molecules.
- At what temperature did YOU see caramelization chemistry occuring? How did you know?
- We knew caramelization was beginning when we saw the sugar and water mixture start to turn translucent, as it was apparent that the mixture was undergoing a chemical change. This occurred at around 250F. However, the real process of caramelization began when the sugar syrup started to darken, at around 320F.
Here you can find us talking about our panna cotta, how it turned out, and what our process was: