Raspberry pomegranate panna cotta

By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post
Panna cotta is the perfect dessert to create when you have guests coming and you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen.
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made by mixing cream, sugar and gelatin. It’s similar to creamy pudding or custard, but with a more firm texture. In this version, vanilla, cardamom, and black pepper and an interesting depth to the simple dessert without being too spicy.  
Panna Cotta
• 2 ½ cups whipping cream
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla 
• 3 green cardamom pods
• 1 sachet gelatin powder
• ¼ cup boiling water 
Pour boiling water into a medium bowl and sprinkle gelatin on the water, stirring until thoroughly dissolved. Pour cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Lightly crush cardamom pods by gently flattening with the flat side of a knife, and add to cream. Add sugar gradually, stirring over low heat until dissolved. Monitor heat carefully and whisk constantly to prevent cream from thickening at bottom. Heat the cream gently for at least 15 - 20 minutes. Cream should be hot and fluffy, but do not allow it scald. Remove and discard cardamom pods. Pour hot cream in a thin stream into the gelatin, whisking, until gelatin is fully dissolved into cream. Divide cream among panna cotta molds. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of two hours, or until set.
Raspberry Pomegranate Jelly
• 1 cup pomegranate juice
• ½ cup raspberries 
• 2 tbsp cold water
• 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 generous pinch of black pepper 
In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water. Let bloom for five minutes. In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin, sugar, pomegranate juice and raspberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the gelatin dissolves. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and add black pepper. Cool briefly. Pour the raspberry pomegranate jelly over the panna cottas, and return to the refrigerator for at least four hours. 
Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at www.indianinfluence.ca.
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