This recipe was inspired by a cheese plate I once had while dining in Rome. The assorted cheeses were served with a crystallized white truffle honey. I nearly fell over from the intense combination of sensory pleasure and my childlike fascination with the clever pairing. Here, I’ve infused acacia honey with white truffle oil to achieve this same flavor in a creamy panna cotta, but clover honey will work if you can’t get your hands on the acacia variety.
Lightly oil eight
In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and infused honey. Cook over low heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Do not allow to come to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. If using gelatin sheets, squeeze the excess water from them and whisk into the hot cream until smooth. If using granulated gelatin, whisk until smooth.
Stir in the crème fraíche just until smooth (overmixing will cause air bubbles to form). Evenly divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins. Let cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Drizzle each plate with the balsamic. Dip the bottom of each ramekin in a warm-water bath for a few seconds, then invert the ramekin onto the plate. Garnish each panna cotta with a halved fig.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Published by Chronicle Books.