so i had seen a contest on my baking addiction to win some vanilla beans. i got excited. i don't buy vanilla beans because they are beyond my budget, but i will certainly take some free ones, that is if i win. guess what? i didn't win. the donated beans for jamie's contest was from beanilla, a online store in grand rapids, michigan. i went over and started poking around, holy cow, beanilla makes its vanilla products affordable for every budget. i couldn't resist and ordered five of their tahitian beans. i am excited, again. a few days later they arrived. guess what? the folks over at beanilla sent me an additional five madagascar vanilla beans!! whoohoo!! now i am really excited. i highly recommend you pay the nice people over at beanilla a visit. they offer so many interesting vanilla products from vanilla fleur de sel to vanilla paste(gotta try that one). i used one of the tahitian beans for the panna cotta. it was so plump, moist and chocked full of bean seeds(don't know if that is the correct jargon or not to refer to the specks).
now, what to make? i scoured dozens of recipes searching for ideas. i stumbled across this panna cotta. it looked easy enough. i set about making it yesterday afternoon, before rendezvousing with my girls to see julie and julia. it came together quickly and was ready for the fam to enjoy one while i was at the movies.
i don't have any molds, so just used coffee cups. i think they worked okay.
this is the creams ( i used heavy cream and 1/2 and 1/2) warmed and infusing with the vanilla bean. yum.
not too exciting, but the gelatin blooming.
the panna cotta mixture in the cups ready for the fridge. oh yea baby.
viola! not the prettiest panna cotta, by no means, kinda resembles a poached egg, but oh sooooo good. just look at the vanilla bean seeds. they are everywhere. they did tend to gather at the bottom of the cup, which naturally became the top when inverted. it certainly didn't make for a lovely presentation, but who cares. I drizzled plain ole honey on the plate. every spoonful you could drag the panna cotta through the golden sweetness. this was a big hit in my house, everyone loved it. i have to say i think i loved it the most. i ate this particular one for breakfast.
the panna cotta is tasty, but could stand some improving. i believe using all heavy cream is the way to go for creaminess. also, i thought the panna cotta was a little too thick and glunky, too much gelatin perhaps? who knows, but i will make again. go order some beans today and make this. you won't be disappointed. enjoy.
p.s.-julie and julia was great fun!! go see it.