Pro tip: if you serve these with mini chocolate chips on top, they taste remarkably similar to cannolis!
Blood Orange Mascarpone Panna Cotta
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 2 or more hours to chill
Cook time: 5 minutes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or whole milk)*
1 teaspoon blood orange zest
1 tablespoon grassfed gelatin
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup blood orange juice
1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract, optional**
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
*Cream will make a very rich panna cotta, whereas milk will yield a lighter version. You can also substitute 2 1/2 cups coconut milk for the cream and mascarpone to make this dairy-free.
Place the heavy cream and orange zest in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it bloom for about five minutes, until the surface of the cream looks wrinkled and some of the gelatin granules have dissolved.
If you plan to unmold your panna cottas for serving, grease 4 to 6 small ramekins (about 4 ounces each). If you plan to serve the panna cottas in their vessels, you can use small glasses or jars if you like and do not need to grease them.
Whisk the mascarpone, blood orange juice, extracts, and salt in a large bowl.
Place the saucepan of cream over low heat and warm, stirring often, until the gelatin has dissolved (rub a bit of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger to make sure it’s smooth). Be careful not to let the mixture come to a boil or even steam–remove it from the heat if you start to see vapor rising from the edges. Turn off the heat and whisk in the honey until smooth.
Slowly pour the hot cream into the bowl with the mascarpone, whisking constantly, until uniform. If you’d like your panna cotta totally smooth, strain the liquid to remove the zest and any little clumps of gelatin (I did not do this because I like a little texture). Divide the mixture between the ramekins or jars and chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, until set. Serve chilled or at room temperature.