1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 tsp. plain gelatin
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese or additional heavy cream
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Coat four 5-oz. ramekins or 6-oz. custard cups lightly with flavorless oil.
Pour 1/4 cup of the cream into a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining 1 1/4 cups cream, the mascarpone, sugar and salt just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Add the gelatin mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended. Pour through a fine strainer into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or a bowl with a pour spout. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins and let cool to room temperature.
Cover the panna cotta loosely and refrigerate until set and thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
To serve, dip the ramekins one at a time into a bowl of hot water for about 5 seconds, then run a table knife around the edges of the custard and invert onto a chilled serving plate.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: Recipe adapted from Luscious Chocolate Desserts, by Lori Longbotham (Chronicle Books, 2004).
Date: November 19, 2004