I am a 22 year old girl from Split (Croatia) just graduated Baking and Pastry Arts Management at the Culinary Institute of America (NY) and truly living the sweetest dream!
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So this was the situation: Sunday, lunch time, 10 people at my familly's apartment are invited for lunch. Speaking with Mrs. Groll, the main chef (she's a 70 year old woman, you would be surprised if you saw her - skinny and dressed up in latest fashion) who's one of THE best cooks besides my grandma's. She requested from me a panacotta. A coffee panacotta indeed. She loves coffee and I made it once for her, so there you go.
I was actually happy about that, because it's so easy to make and it was a perfect item to serve individually which I was very pleased about.
Everything went according the plan, except that I had one person who was diabetic so I had to make one panacotta with his special sugar. Just for your information, it didn't work!! I put I think 1 sheet of gelatine, and when I placed it on the plate, after a little while, it split in 3 sections. Odd. So be careful when you use that sugar...
As far as the rest, it was perfect. Last time I had a bit more gelatine, but this time it was just right.
Here is my version of coffee panacotta:
For 4 persons (150ml per person) :
600ml liquid - I used half amount heavy cream, half milk, and 100ml espresso from that. It is up to you! 3 sheets of gelatine 1 vanilla bean (not necessary, but except taste it looks funky with the little specks on top, just as it was coffee) Sugar - to taste. I honestly didn't have a scale so that's why, but I found it better that way ;)
As you see, ingredients are very simple and so is the process. Put all ingredients in a pot and make it very hot. If you use vanilla bean, turn off the heat, and leave for 15 minutes covered for aromas to develop. In the meantime, soak the gelatine in enough cold water, for about 5 minutes, squeeze it, and before adding it to liquid, make sure it's hot enough for the gelatine to dissolve. Stir a bit and when all the gelatine's dissolved, pour the liquid in ramekins which were previously spalshed with water. Let cool a bit and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is even better. When you're about to unmold the panacotta, separate the very top edge with a little knife, and then pour some boiling water in a bowl and immerse each ramekin at the time for a few seconds. Flip it out, I used a wet plastic spatula so it's easier to transfer to a plate. You can decorate it with a chocolate coffee bean and I also tempered some chocolate to make it more interesting ;)