I once heard someone say, ‘everyone wishes they were Italian.’ Of course that person was from Italy, but I think there may be some truth to that – I wish I had some Italian in my hodgepodge ethnic background. Perhaps that’s why I chose to study abroad in Italy; I fell in love with the history, food, and culture – I have returned to the country every chance I’ve had.
Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts – though being a hapa girl, I had to try to put an Asian twist on this Italian classic and make Green Tea Panna Cotta. Green tea goes surprisingly well with desserts – if you’ve had green tea ice cream, then you know how wonderful the combination tastes. Just be sure to use matcha (green tea) when making desserts. Matcha is a finely milled green tea powder frequently used in Japanese tea ceremonies; therefore it’s more expensive than the green tea you may purchase for everyday drinking. However, it has a smooth and refined taste, coupled with the rich color that is imperative for the success of desserts. Likewise, it is an amazingly easy dish to put together and it serves a crowd! The panna cotta itself takes approximately 10 minutes to prepare, and while it takes at least 6 hours to set-up in the fridge, that’s time you can spend doing whatever else it is you need to accomplish during the day. It is truly a ‘no fuss’ type of dessert, yet tastes and looks like you have spent hours working on the dish.
This Green Tea Panna Cotta has a wonderfully mild sweetness, and tastes fantastic on it’s own or garnished with some fresh berries. If you would like to add a bit more sweetness, try the Blueberry-Lavender Sauce I have included. Either way, it’s a beautiful and delicious dessert that is a wonderful ending to any meal. (Husband Comment: I’m not normally a dessert person and have very little of a sweet tooth. This is an amazing dish that I would eat and not consider a ‘sweet’)