Cocoa Panna Cotta With Custard Sauce

Cocoa Panna Cotta With Custard Sauce

Another dessert from our holiday menu, this one putting a beautiful finish on Christmas dinner, comes straight from Leite's Culinaria. The recipe can be found here and in the marvelous cookbook The Essence of Chocolate, by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger.

I changed just one thing in the recipe, substituting Splenda granular for the sugar in the custard sauce. Because the panna cotta itself begins with caramelizing sugar, one must use granulated sugar or it won't work.

This panna cotta, or "cooked cream", is absolutely delightful: silky smooth with a just-sweet-enough-but-still-bitter cocoa and caramel flavor that marries perfectly with the smooth custard sauce. It was the perfect finish to a rather rich leg of lamb dinner (subject of a near-future post.)

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