Vanilla bean, strawberries, and bubbles: these are a few of my favorite things, and what better time to share a dessert using all three than Valentine’s Day? There is something truly magical about the combination of these flavors that I will never grow tired of. I always say “there is nothing vanilla about vanilla,” and this dessert is no exception.
Panna Cotta, the Crème de la Crème of Dessert
Dessert is the last impression that people have from a meal, and this dessert is certain to be a memorable ending for a special Valentine’s Day dinner at home….or for any dessert course, for that matter (it’s that easy to make). It will leave your dinner guests and loved ones impressed and satisfied. There is a reason panna cotta is served at restaurants all over: it’s extremely simple to make. Chefs and pastry chefs alike know that people eat with their eyes first, and panna cotta is an impressive visual dessert (it can be presented and flavored in so many ways) that packs all the wow factor that diners are looking for in a dessert course…and that’s before anyone even takes their first bite.
So what exactly is panna cotta? Panna cotta simply means “cooked cream” in Italian and contains very few ingredients. It consists of heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla thickened with gelatin to create a silky smooth “custard-like” dessert.
Strawberries and vanilla cream pair deliciously on their own, but in this dessert we are going to level up the flavors by adding the fresh and elegant notes of Poema Cava Brut Rosé to complement the sweetened cream and enhance the strawberry flavor. THAT is what takes the flavors of this dessert from great to outstanding!
How to Level-Up Your Panna Cotta from Great to Outstanding
Everyone knows that strawberries and bubbles are a timeless combination. Poema Cava Brut Rosé has bright notes of strawberry and raspberry that are a great pairing for this special dessert. Sipped alongside the panna cotta, it enhances the flavor in the berries and, in turn, the bright fruity flavors in this dry rose cava. But, Poema Cava Brut Rosé is not only present as a pairing for this dessert but is also IN the dessert. I’m always looking to level up my desserts and it seemed only fitting to soak the diced strawberries for this dessert with Rosé Cava, elevating the flavors even more! Pure deliciousness in a flute and in a dessert cup.
Poema Cava Brut is a staple in our house and on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, I love to indulge in a bottle of Poema Rosé. Not only does its pretty pink hue look fancy in a crystal flute, but the taste is what sets Poema Cava Brut Rosé apart from the rest. Whether you’re enjoying a glass on a summer evening watching the sunset, on a sunny winter day sitting outside next to a fire pit, or paired with a Valentine’s Day dessert such as this, I’m pleased to share with you a cava that I love at my own home and a delicious dessert to add to your collection of go-to favorites. I hope you enjoy making, serving, and eating this dessert and sipping this cava as much as I do.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Cava-Soaked Strawberries
Makes approx. 4 x 4 oz. servings
- 2 cups good quality heavy cream (or dairy-free milk substitute such as oat milk)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean (or an additional 1 t. extract)
- 2.25 teaspoons gelatin
- 3 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice + zest from 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 cup Poema Cava Brut Rosé
- 4 ramekins, coupe glasses, or serving bowls
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape with a knife to release vanilla bean. Place the entire vanilla bean, scrapings, heavy cream, and sugar in a sauce pot. Heat the mixture over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is warmed through. (NOTE: Do not bring the cream to a boil. Simply heat through to dissolve sugar).
- Remove from the heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean pod, and set aside while you “bloom” the gelatin.
- Place the gelatin and water in a medium sized mixing bowl, stir briefly to combine, and set aside for 5-10 minutes. The gelatin will soak up the water and turn to a gel-like consistency.
- Next, pour the warm cream mixture over the gelatin and stir slowly with a whisk until the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour mixture into serving cups and chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
- To prepare the strawberries, dice strawberries into small pieces. Place in a bowl with 1-2 T sugar, 2 t lemon juice, and zest of 1/4 lemon. Pour Poema Cava Brut Rosé over top, stir, and cover. Place in the refrigerator until serving.
- When you are ready to serve: Spoon fresh diced strawberries overtop of panna cotta and be sure to include some of the juices. Pour a glass of Poema Cava Brut Rosé and enjoy your delicious dessert.