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Caramel Popcorn Panna Cotta

Caramel Popcorn Panna Cotta

When we say caramel popcorn panna cotta we do not just mean panna cotta that we’ve topped with popcorn. Although that is a perfectly fine option because the crunch of the popcorn and the creaminess of the cooked custard make such a good combination. And because panna cotta texture is a little firm, the popcorn will not get soggy. The result? Caramel popcorn panna cotta!

But as delicious as that would be, we’ve gone further because we’re extra around here. Or at least we take our love of popcorn to an extra level. We made the milk, a key ingredient in the panna cotta, taste like popcorn. Evil genius stuff, right? But actually super easy.

Making “popcorn milk” adds some time but very little work. We steep the popcorn inside whole milk, let the flavors meld together overnight and then strain. Viola – milk that tastes like popcorn! You can, of course, skip this step and just use regular whole milk. Still fabulous, just a little less popcorn-ey.

As for the panna cotta (Italian for cooked cream) itself, if you’ve only ever ordered it for dessert in fancy restaurants and not tried to make it yourself, we have good news. It’s so easy to do! The key to making the milk and cream set is unflavored gelatin powder which is available in the baking or seasoning section of pretty much every supermarket. Maybe you’ve never noticed it but you’ll keep it in your pantry at all times after trying this recipe.

The rest is just milk and cream and sugar and salt. When you’re done with the short cooking time, you’ll think you got it wrong. It won’t look set at all. But give the refrigerator a few hours to work its magic and that gelatin will bind to the dairy and produce a firm, sweet custard. That same heavenly texture you’ve been paying top dollar for at restaurants and gourmet stores will now be coming out of your own fridge. You’re going to make this again and again, we just know it.

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