Here’s another creamy and of course chocolate, dessert. I’ve always loved custards but since doing the Daring Baker’s Challenge and realizing how simple to make and wonderful it is, I’ve kind of switched over to Panna Cotta lately. The Panna Cotta is creamy and chocolaty combined with just a dash of syrups (lime, blueberry and maraschino cherry). I found some plastic shooter glasses at the dollar store and couldn’t resist. They are perfect for parties, allow for a taste of several flavors and look so cute! For an adult version, top with a layer of liqueur, maybe amaretto, Kirsch or Gran Mariner. You can also do any size glasses you have and even molds if you prefer.
1 packet powdered gelatin
1 ½ cup milk (two ¼ cup and one 1 cup measures)
1 ½ cup cream
½ cup honey
6 oz softened Philadelphia cream cheese
6 oz good quality chocolate
Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of cold milk in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to bloom.
While the gelatin is blooming, combine the honey, 1/2 cup milk, cream and chocolate and microwave for about 1 minute, then at 15 second intervals just until the honey has dissolved and the chocolate has melted into a smooth mixture. Do not boil – it should be just warm enough to melt the chocolate. (If you prefer, you can do this in a small saucepan over a low heat.)
Microwave the gelatin for 5-10 seconds, just enough to dissolve so it is clear and smooth. No boiling here either! (This also can be done in very small saucepan over low heat if you prefer.)
Whisk the dissolved gelatin to the chocolate mixture.
In a small bowl or measuring cup mix remaining ¼ cup of milk with the Philadelphia cream cheese and mix until very smooth.
Whisk in the Philadelphia cream cheese/milk mixture with the chocolate mixture.
Strain and pour into serving dishes or molds. You can layer with various flavors of syrup, jam or jelly (such as strawberry, cherry, lime, blueberry, caramel) or pie filling such as cherry or lemon curd. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Once they are set they can be topped with a small layer of liquor (which would be too thin on the bottom), fruit or nuts and/or whipped cream.
Yields 8 full ½ cup desserts or 2-3 dozen mini-desserts depending on the size of the glasses.