Chocolate Panna Cotta with Port-Balsamic Cherries
- 500 gm fresh or frozen sour cherries, stemmed, pitted
- 180 ml Port wine
- 130 ml granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons good-quality aged Balsamic Vinegar
- If cherries are frozen, let thaw before using.
- In a large heavy skillet over high heat, stir together cherries, port wine, sugar, and balsamic vinegar until sugar dissolves.
- Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until cherries are soft and wooden spoon leaves a path in the sauce when drawn across bottom of skillet, approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove from and heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Vegetable oil
- 250 ml whole milk
- 3-4 gm of unflavored gelatin (approximately 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 250 heavy cream
- 120 gm granulated sugar
- 150 gm bittersweet chocolate (min 70% cocoa), chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Brush six custard glass cups (150ml) with oil.
- In a medium-size bowl, add milk, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk, and let stand until gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. Bring cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat.
- Add chocolate and whisk until thoroughly melted. Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin. Add vanilla extract.
- Working in two batches, transfer mixture to blender and use only three on/off turns to just fully blend mixture (do not over mix).
- Divide mixture among custard cups. Cover and chill 24 hours. Can be made two days ahead. Keep chilled.
- To unmold and serve, carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a baking pan of hot water briefly, approximately 1 1/2 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen it from the inside of the bowl. Wipe the outside of the mold dry and place on individual chilled serving plate (topside down). Invert the custard onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin .
- Spoon prepared Port-Balsamic Cherries sauce over panna cotta and serve.
Port-Balsamic Cherries can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Half & half, buttermilk, evaporated milk, whole milk, or sour cream may be substituted for part of the cream. You can add more gelatin if you like your panna cotta to be firmer.