Saturday, March 16, 2013

Salted Caramel Panna Cotta

I saved this recipe on my computer a long time ago, and finally had the perfect opportunity to try it out.  Tonight I'm having my splurge group over for lots of food, some jello shots, far too much cheap wine, and these decadent little desserts.


I followed the recipe just as it was posted, although I had to make a second batch of caramel sauce because I burned the first batch.  It took about 8 minutes for the sugar to turn into a light brown liquid, and that's when I removed it from the heat and added the hot cream (slowly, or it will boil over).  I thought it was too runny, and I also thought it wasn't salty enough, so I put it back on the stove over low heat and added more salt (one pinch at a time) until I liked the taste.  I didn't have fleur de sel, so I used coarse sea salt.  (Don't use table salt!!)  It all turned out perfectly, and I can't wait to try these out with my friends tonight!

I always have trouble making this caramel sauce - it clumps up on me and I almost always burn the first batch. I looked for another way of making it, and came up with this method, which worked perfectly:

1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt (I have also used 1 tbsp. Epicure's Maple Bacon Sea Salt)
1 c. cream

In large pot, combine first three ingredients over medium-low heat. In another pot, heat cream over medium heat, reducing to low heat once it starts to simmer. Heat sugar until it starts to melt and bubble, stirring often. Continue simmering and until sugar completely dissolves and just starts to turn golden brown. Slowly pour in hot cream (if the cream is not hot enough, it will solidify the sugar.) Whisk in the cream a little bit at a time until it's all incorporated. Cool to room temperature and then store in air-tight container in the fridge.

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