So first off, how are panna cotta and flan different? Flan is thickened with a mixture of whole eggs and egg yolks, while panna cotta receives its structural integrity from gelatin. Because panna cotta uses gelatin, it doesn't need to be baked, and unlike flan, panna cotta doesn't come with a ready made sauce (caramel is first poured into the ramekins for flan before baking and this later becomes a caramel sauce).
So let's get started!
Flan-Style Panna Cotta
|Milk, sugar, vanilla extract and gelatin|
- 6 4-oz ramekins
- 1 saute pan
- 1 saucepan
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- wooden or silicone spatula
- 3 cups half and half
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 packet (2.5 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin- pinch of salt
1) Add 3/4 cups sugar to a dry saucepan and set the heat to medium-low.
2) When the edges of the sugar begin to melt and brown, use a spatula to gently mix and redistribute the unmelted sugar. Continue to do this until all of the sugar has dissolved and the resulting caramel has reached the desired color.
7) Allow the pudding to cool to room temp and then pour into the prepared ramekins. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight, to set.