Panna Cotta with Treat Spiced Pecans

by Denise Woodward & Laudalino Ferreira on July 25, 2012

in All Recipes, Boutique Businesses, Chez Us Cooks, Desserts


We adore Treat Spiced Pecans, nuts roasted to perfection in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a candied shell that is just irresistible.  We love them so much, we are selling them by the bag in our store.  In fact, we are selling a whole bunch of some of our favorite small batch products individually now.  We love to make up seasonal and themed gift boxes for you, obviously, but we also realize sometimes you just need those nuts, or that honey, or some taffy to satisfy a craving. We know the feeling. – Maggie

Every time I see panna cotta on a menu, I always wonder why I don’t make it at home more often.   I adore everything about it, from the first silky bite to the last lick off of the spoon.   It truly is one of those forgotten desserts.   Don’t you think?

When Maggie sent along a package of  Treat Bake Shop Spiced Pecans  recently to see what I might come up with, my first thought, beyond just enjoying each one, was to toss them into a salad.  But as soon as I took the first nibble, I instantly thought of panna cotta.   The pecans are a little spicy, a little sweet and a little salty.   I thought they would add a creative bite of flavor to the creaminess of the dessert.  I also envisioned the subtle spiciness would be delightful with saffron.  Using the nuts definitely veered from the norm of serving a panna cotta with a jelly or fruit-based topping or bottom — but the change was good.

Normally, I make panna cotta strictly with heavy cream.   I know, a bit sinful, but isn’t that what dessert is all about?  I wanted some tang to mingle with all the flavors of the pecans so I used buttermilk as well as cream.   Saffron was mainly added for the gorgeous color.  But the slight bitterness of the saffron also complemented the rest of the ingredients, and, well I just think that saffron adds a lovely perfume to dishes.

I have to admit a small secret:  this recipe was so complex, with layers of flavor, that we ended up not sharing the final dishes them with anyone.   Instead, we enjoyed all 8 servings.   Now that is even more sinful than the heavy cream!

Saffron Panna Cotta with Spiced Pecans
inspired by Judy Witts Francini

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon saffron
  • Treat Spiced Pecans

Directions:

  1. Heat the cream, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat.   Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat.   Sprinkle the saffron over the top.   Let mingle for 60 minutes.   Remove the bean from the milky mixture and gently re-warm.
  2. In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 10 minutes.   Pour the milky mixture over the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Divide the panna cotta mixture between 8 serving glasses, cups or bowls.   Chill until firm, about 4 hours.
  4. Lightly crush the pecans.   Sprinkle over the top of the panna cotta.   Serve.   Eat. Enjoy!

All photos styled and taken by Denise Woodward.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans.  We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can  order today.

 

Denise Woodward & Laudalino Ferreira

Denise is a foodie who’s first thought each morning is about what she’ll be cooking that day. Laudalino is not a foodie; he’s an eater and aspiring home chef. They met when he was a starving climber and bachelor who longed for his mother’s good Portuguese cooking. She cooked, he ate and nine years later, he still prefers her food to any restaurant fare. Follow their culinary capers in their 20-square-foot urban kitchen at their blog, Chez Us.

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  • Sarah

    *LOVE* that you love my Spiced Pecans – and what a fun way to use them. I need to make this panna cotta. Thank you for the great post!
    –Sarah @ Treat Bake Shop

    • Denise

      Thanks Sarah!  Thank you for making these amazing spiced pecans.  Adore them with this panna cotta as well as snacking on them.  ~ Denise

  • http://www.skinnymommy.com/ Bree

    I love those pecans too–yum! This panna cotta looks delicious!

    • http://chezus.com/ Denise

      Bree, you have to try them with a panna cotta.  Such an added surprise to a smooth dessert.  ~ Denise

  • http://www.ladomestique.com Jess O’Toole

    I’m a huge fan of saffron, and this panna cotta with spiced pecans looks fantastic. I like the uniqueness of a crunchy topping for panna cotta, and think this is a great dessert for entertaining. It would be a nice little surprise at the end of a meal. 

    • http://chezus.com/ Denise

      Jess, it is just that, a great added surprise.  I liked the spiciness of the nuts alongside the creamy panna cotta.  Makes me hungry thinking about it.  

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    Absolutely beautiful Denise !!!

    • http://chezus.com/ Denise

      Thanks Maggie!  Hoping you give the recipe a try;  have a feeling you’ll love! ~ Denise

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