Chamomile Panna Cotta
Pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac made this floral, cream-based Italian dessert at the 2009 Chefs & Champagne® New York. Shown here with blueberries, granola, and apricot foam, the creamy base is also a luscious treat on its own.
- 1 bunch fresh chamomile, finely chopped
- 1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 gelatin sheets
Place a medium saucepan over low heat and add the chamomile, heavy cream, and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a simmer, turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and let steep for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how strong you’d like the chamomile flavor to be.
Five minutes before the steeping is done, place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water and let soften (about 5 minutes). After the gelatin sheets are soft, pour off the water and gently wring the excess liquid out of the sheets. Set aside.
After steeping, strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Return the cream to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium. When the mixture is close to simmering, remove from heat and whisk in the softened gelatin sheets until fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl resting in an ice bath and let cool until just below room temperature, being careful not to let it cool to the point when it will start to gelatinize.
Divide the mixture among twelve 8-ounce parfait glasses and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2 to 3 hours.