Last year executive pastry chef Ron Mendoza of Mirabel H&R, took first place in the annual "Golden Scoop Award" competition in New York City. Following is a simple dessert that is sure to make a memorable impression at your next dinner party.
Herb infused Panna Cotta
by Ron Mendoza
3 fresh bay leaves or herbs of your choice
4 gelatin sheets, rehydrated in ice water***can be found at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table
Bring milk, cream, sugar, and herbs to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 20 minutes.
Return to a simmer and add gelatin (which has been strained from water), remove from heat and strain.
Pour panna cotta into cups or glasses. Chill 4 hours until set.
Top panna cotta with fruit of your choice, diced into bite size pieces. Garnish with herbs and shaved white chocolate or crushed graham crackers.
The highlight of this dish is that the panna cotta is very soft and creamy. "I enjoy the way it is set in a glass because I can build up from it in a parfait style which leaves a wonderful presentation," shares Ron.