When it comes to cream-based desserts such as puddings, mousses, and flans, panna cottas have always been my favorite. Add to that Serious Eats' collective obsession with Greek yogurt, and it was easy to choose what to make for this week's magazine recipe review: Yogurt Panna Cottas with Honey from the May issue of Food & Wine.
The recipe was created by Marisa Chruchill, a San Francisco-based pastry chef and cooking instructor, and a former contestant on Top Chef. In her version of the Italian classic, tangy fat-free yogurt replaces the heavy cream. The results are not only decadent and velvety, they're also downright healthy—only 120 calories and a trace of fat per serving.
The panna cottas were so simple to prepare that I ended up making several batches, experimenting with substitutions and add-ins. The two versions I (and my taste-tester roommates) liked best are below, along with the original recipe. In one I included the seeds of a vanilla bean and replaced the grapes with strawberries. In the other, I added melted chocolate and omitted the drizzle of honey.
Enjoy these, or get creative and come up with your own!
About the author: Lucy Baker is a graduate student in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Before returning to school to pursue an MFA, she was an assistant cookbook editor at HarperCollins. She lives in Brooklyn and is currently obsessed with all things fennel.
- Yield:6 servings
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Red grapes, for serving
In a small bowl, mix the gelatin with the water and let stand about 5 minutes, until softened. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the softened gelatin until dissolved.
In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the yogurt until smooth. Whisk in the warm milk mixture. Pour the panna cotta mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
To serve, drizzle the panna cottas with honey and garnish with the grapes.
Yogurt Panna Cottas with Vanilla and Honeyed Strawberries
In step 2, whisk the seeds of one vanilla bean in with the yogurt and buttermilk. To serve, replace the grapes with fresh strawberries.
Chocolate-Yogurt Panna Cottas
In step 2, after adding the milk mixture, whisk in 1/3 cup of melted, cooled semi-sweet chocolate chips. Omit the honey. Serve with your choice of fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, or mandarin oranges would work well.