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Grana Padano

Panna Cotta for dessert, if you have angels for dinner (VIDEO)


The most easily found and best-known Italian dessert worldwide is at the same time among the most delicate. So delicate that, if you have angels coming for dinner, Panna Cotta is the dolce to serve. But how many people know what an authentic Panna Cotta is – one such as that which Francesco Elmi presents in the above step-by-step video-recipe? After Semifreddo all’Italiana, celebrated at Piazza Italia, Beijing last week, Panna Cotta is the eighth step of La Vita è Dolce.

Here is a recipe of Panna Cotta as suggested by Fabbri.

Last week, from July 30th through August 5th, Beijing Piazza Italia’s executive chef, Vincenzo Pezzilli, and chef de cuisine, Maurizio Lai, represented China in “La Vita è Dolce.” Piazza Italia prepared a warm welcome for all guests taking part in this first ever world event, trying to satisfy their sweet-toothedness with a selection of Beijing’s most authentic Italian desserts. During the week, Orange Semifreddo, a tart topped with a frozen orange-infused mousse, was the main protagonist at the Boscolo Restaurant in Piazza Italia on the third floor. The recipe of this delicious, authentic Italian dessert can be found just below.
Vincenzo Pezzilli
Chef Vincenzo Pezzilli

Tiramisu, instead was the hero of the Voglia di Vino Restaurant on the second floor of Piazza Italia and Zeppole di San Giuseppe were savoured at the Dolce e Salato Restaurant on the first floor. On Saturday, August 1st 2009, a Semifreddo Cooking Demonstration was held at the Boscolo Etoile Academy, and on the same day, in the afternoon, selected guests learned the lost art of preparing the authentic Italian Semifreddo. Chefs Pezzilli and Lay organized a La Vita è Dolce special Saturday night as well, with a tantalizing Italian Dinner, including Grilled Scallop with Porcini Mushroom in Truffle Oil, Octopus Amatriciana, Porchetta-Style Stuffed Cornish Hen, and of course the Orange Semifreddo.

Semifreddo all’arancia e cioccolato bianco con croccante all’uvetta e mandorle e salsa alla vaniglia

Orange and white chocolate semifreddo with sultana and almond crunch and vanilla sauce

Orange Semifreddo
Orange Semifreddo by Chef Pezzilli

For orange semifreddo

Pastry custard 300gr
Orange peel 20gr
Italian meringue 265gr
Cream 435 gr

Heat 100 grams of the pastry custard in the microwave oven with the orange peel, grated; then mix very well and let steep for some minutes. Next add the rest of the cold cream, the Italian meringue and the whipped cream.

For white chocolate semifreddo

Egg yolks 100gr
Granulated sugar 80gr
Honey 15gr
White chocolate 60gr
Italian meringue 100gr
Fresh cream 270ml
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and honey. Add the white chocolate, melted, the Italian meringue and the whipped cream.

For vanilla sauce

Milk 700ml
Cream 300ml
Cane sugar 80gr
Granulated sugar 120gr
Egg yolks 300gr
Rice starch 10gr
Vanilla pods 12gr
Bring the milk and cream to a boil with the vanilla pods, pulp removed. Whip the egg yolks with the granulated sugar, the pulp from the vanilla pods and the cane sugar, add the rice starch, then pour the mixture into the boiling milk and cream. Maintain at 85° C.

For the sultana and almond crunch

Sultanas 50gr
Almonds 50gr
Granulated sugar 200gr
Melt the sugar without letting it darken, then add the almonds and the sultanas.

For the pulled sugar

Melt some sugar in a pot and let it cool on silpat.
With gloves, pull and twist the cooling sugar to form spirals, circles or whatever else.