Makes 20 servings
3 quarts heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean
6 packages gelatin (approximately 4 1/2 tablespoons)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
vegetable oil (for oiling cups)
20 6-ounce custard cups
3 8 oz. jars Locally Preserved Strawberry Red Wine Syrup
1 block dark chocolate, dark
20 whole strawberries, for garnish
1 bunch mint, for garnish
Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (If using a vanilla bean, split in half and scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream; add the bean pod to the cream). Cover and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean, then rewarm the mixture over medium heat.
Lightly oil eight custard cups with vegetable oil.*
Add cold water to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the warm panna cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Divide the panna cotta mixture into the prepared cups. Refrigerate to chill until firm, at least two hours (preferably four hours).
When the panna cotta has thoroughly set, run a sharp knife around the edge of each cup and unmold onto a serving plate. Top with Strawberry Red Wine Syrup. Garnish each serving with chocolate shavings (use a cheese grater or Microplane), one whole strawberry, and a mint leaf.
*If you’re pressed for time, you can pour the panna cotta mixture into wine goblets to serve the dish without unmolding.