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Mint Pana Cottas With Blackberry Coulis

Pana Cottas-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Thank you, thank you to all of you who visited Kate and myself and leaving wonderful birthday wishes. Wow! You do know how to party!! For your comments, the dancing and singing ecards to the thoughtful emails: thank you.

We ended up gathering the usual troops, a.k.a the neighbors and the kids and grilled, drank had a fire and s’mores…and of course cake, which the twins had to adorn with those not so great never ending magical candles…argh!!! To say that my head was heavy this morning at work was an understatement but I could not get out of those appointments. However, I had planned on taking the afternoon off and take a nap, go to the beach, be productive…You know….While resting my head on the couch pillows I started to remember a conversation with our neighbor C. about pana cottas. Was there that much vodka involved that I can’t remember if I did or did not volunteer to teach her pana cottas? Ouch! That was going to be a long day… I felt a pinch and a tuck on a my brain "Hello Tartelette Smackelette! Remember! What exactly did you say? What time? How many? What flavor?" C. called and asked if I needed something from the store since she was going that way:

Me: "Painkillers?"…
C: "Oh you don’t remember do you, that’s ok we can reschedule"
{I hate rescheduling…do it now while the spirit of the moment is there. Problem.}
Me: "You know what? Whatever I said we’d do, let’s do it….it was legal right?"
{Cross fingers, take a deep breath, pray you did not volunteer yourself for another impromptu dinner for 20}
C: "Ok, now you are scaring me…You said Pana Cottas were easy and now I am freaking out!"
{My blood pressure just got back to normal, hers is now through the roof. Well done Helen!}
Me: "no no no…easy peasy….promise. Here’s the list of stuff to get. I’ll go behind the house and get blackberries."

That was just part one of the adventures. I did try to get the blackberries, I did, I promise….but looking and bending down trying to pick out the ripe ones proved to be a rather painful adventures, my head, my stomach and the vodka from the night before all colliding at the same moment. That’s when my best guys arrived and saved the day! Indeed, C’s twins came armed with baskets and in 20 minutes had blue hands, blue tongues, blue shirts and about 2 cups worth of blackberries. In the meantime I played with the computer a little, as I am trying to put a page up and a map to keep you abreast of the Traveling Eggs adventures, but bear with me on that one, time is not on my side (as if we all did not have that issue, right?!). Allright enough about our little village whereabouts and on with the pana cottas….I am not always that talkative (shshh mom), it must be old age!!

Pana Cottas-Copyright Tartelette 2008 Pana Cotta is probably one of my favorite desserts. It is rich and yet seemingly light to the palate, versatile so you can flavor or top it anyway you like. Refreshing with fruits or comforting with caramel, the possibilities are endless. Since the mint is growing like crazy (does getting old give one a greener thumb?), I infused the cream and the milk with a good handful of it and cooked down the blackberries to a puree with some sugar and lemon. We did not have quite enough for 4 glasses so I used some leftover curd from the birthday cake for one of them. Guess who got that one 🙂

Mint Pana Cotta With Blackberry Coulis:

Serves 4

1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin bloomed in 2 Tb water (means to pour the water over the gelatin and let it sit while you prepare the pana cotta)

Combine all the ingredients, except the gelatin, in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let the cream to steep for 20 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve or a chinois, heat the gelatin in the microwave for 8 seconds and quickly stir it in the cream mixture. Divide it evenly among small dishes, glasses, etc…Let set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Blackberry Coulis:
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tb lemon zest

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer on medium high heat and cook until the blackberries are soft. Process to a puree with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and strain the seeds out, discard those. Let cool completely before you divide the coulis on top of the pana cottas. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Pana Cotta-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Because its calcium rich components like cream, milk, blackberries and lemons, I am sending these to a favorite blogger of mine, Susan from Food Blogga , who is hosting a great event to raise awareness about osteoporosis entitled Beautiful Bones. Thank you for opening up to us and organizing this Susan!

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My Sweet & Saucy May 15, 2008 um 7:17 am

I share your love of pana cottas! These look especially beautiful! I love your little jars!

MyKitchenInHalfCups May 15, 2008 um 7:40 am

What would happen if I had one of those at 3am? At 6am could I call it breakfast? That would be so nice. Blackberries are so good, but then so is lemon curd.
Loved the conversation with the neighbor on the pana cottas! I love it when that happens- um to other people. (so bad of me).
Mint grows so wild and it is just glorious, I just need to think of it more often.

Cannelle Et Vanille May 15, 2008 um 7:54 am

I’m glad to hear that you were partying it up on your birthday Helen! Funny story… not your hangover… but how you told it! Great post. And the mint panna cotta… uhmmm… sounds so refreshing… It is also one of my favorite desserts because like you said, so simple and versitile. Love it!

Botacook May 15, 2008 um 8:28 am

Un dessert qui me plaît énormément, pour moi qui adore le citron et les fruits rouges… bien frais et léger, j’adore!

Bron May 15, 2008 um 8:35 am

Would you believe I’ve never made pana cotta…must fix this soon huh! Looks like you’ve provided the perfect starting point too!!

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 11:29 am

That looks D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! I believe people think pana cotta is a dificult thing to make because of the exotic name, but if they knew what it meant (the name) maybe they would change their mind… haha congratulations for the beautiful dessert and happy belated birthday!

Ginny May 15, 2008 um 11:55 am

Looks great! I wish I had blackberries in my backyard!

Gretchen Noelle May 15, 2008 um 12:08 pm

Gorgeous! One of my goals this year is to make pana cotta. By the looks of this I have all of the ingredients. I may have to try it!

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 12:20 pm

From personal experience, if you make the preview step compulsory (ie, people must click preview, then preview what they wrote, then click post) then this stops all spammers I have ever been hit by. I’m not sure if blogger allows you to do that?

April May 15, 2008 um 12:36 pm

Both of these look delicious!! My mouth is watering!

LyB May 15, 2008 um 12:38 pm

Mint and blackberries sound so wonderful together, and the color contrasts with the pana cotta is just beautiful!

Carrie May 15, 2008 um 1:00 pm

O sweet lord! I love panna cotta more and more each day and I was actually thinking about making it this week. Now I will hve to. I just got gold gelatin sheets…do you happen to know what the conversion would be. I am sure I can look it up somewhere if you do not. I hope the day after feeling goes away soon…BUT I am so glad you had such a wonderful birthday 🙂


Deborah May 15, 2008 um 1:16 pm

I love panna cotta, but have never made it. It sounds so easy, I don’t know why! They are gorgeous!

glamah16 May 15, 2008 um 1:20 pm

These look lovely. The hangover sounds like it was a great Birthday. Ihave been getting a few spam commnets lately. Just have to be dilligent.

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 1:29 pm

Gorgeous photos tartelette!

I’m not a huge mint fan so I think I’d make these with only the mint garnish. What do you think of using a little orange zest in the panna cotta? Intuitively, I feel like that would work well in this recipe, too. Any thoughts?

Elly May 15, 2008 um 2:23 pm

Oooh Helen, this is right up my alley. The pana cotta and blackberry coulis is enough but adding the mint in the pana cotta makes it extra amazing 🙂

Ann May 15, 2008 um 2:31 pm

I have 3 Pana Cotta recipes and have been nervous to try them, for some reason. You’ve inspired me – I mean, why not? These are beauties!

mimi May 15, 2008 um 2:38 pm

beautiful panna cottas, love it with the coulis. the talkative part? that’s not old age, that’s the remnants of vodka talking! and "i’ll go behind the house and get some blackberries" …. soooo jealous!!!

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 2:40 pm

Lovely recipe and the photos are wonderful.

Mandy May 15, 2008 um 2:41 pm

sounds like you had a fun time celebrating! I have never tried making/eating panna cotta before, but yours look gorgeous.

LizNoVeggieGirl May 15, 2008 um 2:57 pm

What fabulous adventures you had in honor of your birthday celebration!! Can’t go wrong with s’mores, especially :0)

Oooh, the Pana Cotta sounds SENSATIONAL with the Blackerry Coulis – yum!

Veron May 15, 2008 um 2:59 pm

I’m glad you had so much fun on your birthday…there’s nothing like too much fun anyway. And I adore pana cottas…I think I like them better the creme caramel because they are lighter.

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 4:14 pm

Looks absolutely yummy … I’m smacking my lips already and will definitely try these!

PheMom May 15, 2008 um 4:15 pm

So pretty! Sorry your head hurt – there should be some kind of cosmic law that says when it is your birthday you can’t get a hangover! At least it sounds like you had a great time!

That Girl May 15, 2008 um 4:31 pm

Panna Cottas aren’t my favorite dessert, but they are my favorite dessert to make!

Bakerette May 15, 2008 um 5:08 pm

We have a similar dessert in Egypt that’s exactly the same only cornstarch instead of gelatine! I am sure that changes the texture completely…never had panna cotta…

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 5:11 pm

Thank you for your kind birthday greetings Helen! I’ve been playing around with my rhubarb all morning.

Eileen (passions to pastry)@

Dana May 15, 2008 um 5:12 pm

Panna cotta is one of my favorites! I’m sorry I hadn’t wished you a happy bday sooner, so…happy belated! I’m also very sorry about your friend. It sounds like you are being a wonderful friend to her through all of this, and my heart goes out to her family and yours.

Mike of Mike's Table May 15, 2008 um 6:17 pm

I’ve never made pana cotta myself, but I definitely appreciate that you’ve presented it wonderfully. I hate the usual uninspiring "standard" presentation out there…and the blackberry coulis really adds a great contrast

maonk May 15, 2008 um 6:24 pm

Happy Birthday! I always look forward to your delicious looking creations. I love panna cotta, but never make it. My boyfriend is a vegetarian, so I stay away from gelatin desserts. Do you think this would work with agar?

Helene May 15, 2008 um 7:16 pm

Carrie: for the gelatin sheets 4 sheet equals 1 package of powdered gelatin.
Punkin: agar would work fine but I rarely use so I am far from being the expert on the subject.

lululu May 15, 2008 um 7:54 pm

Easy and pretty. I’m sure they tasted delicious. 😀

Anonymous May 15, 2008 um 8:00 pm

Just the word coulis makes me melt, I love that word.

And those dishes for the panna cotta…just divne!

Peter M May 15, 2008 um 8:16 pm

Helen, I’ve yet to make a panna cotta but if I’m looking for tipa, it will be found here…dreamy!

giz May 15, 2008 um 9:17 pm

Such a gorgeous dessert – and few ingredients and visually lovely. What more could a person ask for – besides vodka without the day after.

Susan from Food Blogga May 15, 2008 um 9:26 pm

You can go in your backyard for blackberries? Awwww, now I’m officially jealous. 😉

Thank you for a stunning (and calcium-packed) dessert, Helen. Of course, coming from you, I’m not surprised.


Jen Yu May 15, 2008 um 9:26 pm

Oh, how stunningly beautiful. I love panna cotta and the coulis on top makes it perfect. I’d love to borrow those twins to pick some berries for my desserts! 🙂 So cute.

Mansi May 15, 2008 um 9:37 pm

wow, that looks awesome helen! loved the blackberry coulis too!:)

Rachel@fairycakeheaven May 15, 2008 um 10:12 pm

mmmmmmmmmmm panna cotta divine!!! Didn’t realise it was so simple to make, another must try to add to my list!

Glad you had a good birthday

Kajal@aapplemint May 15, 2008 um 10:31 pm

Gosh Helen these panna cottas looks so gorgeous. Your presentation is simply fantastic. Makes you just want to reach out and grab one.

Evelin May 15, 2008 um 11:55 pm

Sounds refreshingly sweet! Reminds me of my wish to make some panna cotta…thanks;)

Lori May 16, 2008 um 12:35 am

Hmmmm, anything creamy is dreamy. Just love anything cold and creamy especially when it is warm outside. and yum blackberries. This is definitely on my to do list.

Take it easy on the vodka girl : )

Anonymous May 16, 2008 um 4:02 am

What a refreshing dessert, and very easy to veganize, too! 🙂

Suzana May 16, 2008 um 8:29 am

Blackberries in the backyard? Now, that’s what a cal luxury! Lovely panacottas – I love the mint addition. That has to be delicious!

Peabody May 16, 2008 um 9:57 am

Oh I love the contrast with the blackberries…that is stunning.

Marian May 16, 2008 um 11:53 am

excelente ….tu blog me dá muchas ideas …enhorabuena …de una española …

Patricia Scarpin May 16, 2008 um 1:46 pm

Helen, I have never tried panna cotta – shame on me, right? 😉
I’m glad you had fun, you certainly deserve it, darling!

Chibog in Chief May 16, 2008 um 3:46 pm

it’s amazing to see how you turned a simple dessert into a gorgeous and healthy work of art!!yummy!! great entry too for Beautiful Bones

Cynthia May 16, 2008 um 4:44 pm

Happy Belated! Sorry I missed the party.

Anonymous May 16, 2008 um 7:00 pm

The use of glasses and jars is so creative! Such a nice presentation. Good job.

Jenny May 17, 2008 um 2:50 am

Omg, did I remember to say Happy Birthday? I know I planned on it when I read about your lemon meringue birthday trade with Kate, but now I can’t remember!
The pana cottas look wonderful, so fresh and light.
Hope your head feels less like vodka now as well.

RecipeGirl May 17, 2008 um 3:06 am

I seriously would love a big spoonful of that beautiful dessert right now!! It really turned out so pretty, and it’s so summery looking too!

Anonymous May 17, 2008 um 3:07 am

Wow that looks delicious. I love the little rippled jar you used with the lemons on top. Did it used to hold something?

Anonymous May 17, 2008 um 10:52 am

Howdy neighbor! Sometimes if feel we live in a different city. Blackberries in your back yard? Lucky you, looked in my yard and couldn’t find any. Do you want to believe I have never had a panna cotta? Shameful and I am going to change that mighty soon. Cute story and pics.

Lore May 17, 2008 um 11:58 am

I love the effect of those vivid colours put next to each other Helen!
I have an award waiting for you on my blog so come and get it 🙂

Deeba PAB May 18, 2008 um 4:05 pm

Panna cotta’s top of my list too…but yours takes the cake,oops I mean panna cotta…it’s beautiful beyond words. Perfect for Susans'!

Sophie May 20, 2008 um 1:51 am

The colors in this dessert look great. I love how elegant this dessert looks…and it’s healthy too :).

Anonymous May 25, 2008 um 2:10 am

Wow. That was soo easy to make!
I think the toughest part is going to be cleaning up the mini food processor from the overflowing blackberries! 😀

Anonymous June 14, 2008 um 6:36 pm

I’ll be making these tomorrow! I have always wanted to try panna cotta and now I have a reason to do just that!

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