It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Carolyn, author of All Day I Dream About Food. Carolyn is someone that I connected with right away when I started this journey; Carolyn is encouraging, supportive, absolutely talented, and most of all, a great friend.
And, if you are on a diet looking for something that will blow your mind, look no further, just hit PRINT.
I have always found the name of Kate’s blog intriguing. Diethood – it rather suggests that you are going to find a number of recipes suitable to promoting weight loss. But when you check it out, you find a vast array of mouthwatering, decidedly non-diet recipes. Recipes designed to blow your diet, in fact, should you be on one. And from the few pictures of Kate herself, I would say that this woman has absolutely no business being on a diet anyway!
(This is your pilot, Kate, speaking….I have a secret – I eat only one serving of whatever it is that I have made. …continue, Carolyn)
I, however, am on a diet…of sorts. I am not in it for weight loss, but for my health. See, I am a recently-diagnosed diabetic and I have found that keeping a check on my carbs is the best way to also keep a check on my blood sugars. Much like Kate, though, I adore cooking and baking – particularly baking, and the more mouthwatering the dessert, the better. Lucky for me, low carb does not mean low fat or low flavor.
From the moment I discovered Kate’s blog, it was a source of infinite inspiration to me. So many of her delectable treats can be modified to a lower carb version. I’ve had my eye on that Frozen Mojito Pie since the moment I saw it. I haven’t quite gotten to it yet, but I will. Oh yes, I will!
So, in keeping with the delectability of the recipes on Diethood, I thought I ought to come up with something that was rich and delicious, but that could be made both low or high-carb. I haven’t made panna cotta before, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about tackling for a while. My first inclination was to go with chocolate, but then my eye spied the incredible abundance of basil growing in my yard. I was reminded of the basil ice cream I made last summer, and it struck me how lovely that sweet basil flavor would be in another sort of creamy, rich dessert.
Turns out, I was right. I will be honest, I wasn’t sure my panna cotta was going to set properly at first. I haven’t worked with gelatin much and I just didn’t trust that the liquidy substance I poured into my ramekins would firm up. I was also worried that I hadn’t put in enough basil for the flavor to come through. I needn’t have worried on either count because they set perfectly and the basil was just right. That distinctive herb-y, licorice-y flavor was present without being overpowering, and made for a refreshing creamy treat.
I made my version with almond milk, cream and some of my alternative sweeteners. You can make yours with whole milk and sugar. I served mine with blueberries because it’s what I had on hand, but you can serve it with whatever floats your boat. It’s all good, here on the Diethood!
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup granulated erythritol* (or ½ cup sugar)
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (or whole milk)
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (4 ½ teaspoons)
- 16 drops stevia extract (omit if using sugar)
- Combine cream, basil and erythritol, or sugar, in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove solids.
- Press on solids to release as much flavor and liquid as possible.
- Lightly grease six ¾ cup ramekins or custard cups.
- Pour ½ cup of the almond milk or whole milk into another medium saucepan.
- Sprinkle gelatin over and let sit 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining almond or whole milk and set over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Cook until the gelatin dissolves and steam begins to rise from the milk, but do not boil.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in the cream and stevia, if using.
- Divide the mixture between prepared ramekins and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate until chilled and set, about 4 hours.
- Serve in the cups or unmold onto plates.
- To unmold, sit the bottom of each ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds. Run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen and flip out onto the plate. I found it took a little jiggling to get the panna cotta to come free.
- Top with your favorite berries and serve.