David Rossi of The Ranch Restaurant Makes Panna Cotta

Photo by Curt Norris

David Rossi, award-winning executive pastry chef at The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim, can win you over long before dessert arrives. Served at the start, his puffed-to perfection, piping hot popovers accompanied with house-made jam show off his skill and attention to detail.

The desserts that follow confirm Rossi’s talent. Some are classics, his versions augmented with a unique twist to make them better than the traditional. His pecan pie

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Photo by Curt Norris

David Rossi’s Layered Panna Cotta
Yield: about 8 (12-ounce) glasses
Chocolate Panna Cotta:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
150 grams (about 1 cup) chopped dark chocolate (65 to 73 percent cacao preferred)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 sheets bronze gelatin sheets, see cook’s notes
1/3 cup sour cream
Passion Fruit “Jelly”:
4 sheets bronze gelatin sheets, see cook’s notes
1 cup concentrated passion fruit puree, see cook’s notes
1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Raspberry “Jelly”:
1 cup raspberry puree, see cook’s notes
1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 sheets bronze gelatin sheets, see cook’s notes

Chef David Rossi Panna Cotta

Photo by Curt Norris

Cook’s notes: Purees and gelatin sheets are sold online and at Surfas Culinary District in Costa Mesa.

1. Prepare panna cotta: In medium saucepan combine milk, cream and sugar; place on medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat until hot to dissolve sugar (mixture needs to be hot enough to melt gelatin and chocolate, but shouldn’t boil). Meanwhile, place gelatin sheets in bowl of cold water.
2. Place chocolate in bowl. Pour hot milk mixture over chocolate and stir with a whisk to melt chocolate. Stir in sour cream. Add drained gelatin and stir until dissolved. Cool.
3. Prepare passion fruit jelly: Place gelatin sheets in cold water; set aside. In a medium-large saucepan, place passion fruit puree, water and sugar. On medium-high heat, stirring frequently, heat until hot (but not boiling). Add drained gelatin sheets; off heat, stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool.
4. Prepare raspberry fruit jelly: Use same procedure as passion fruit jelly, substituting raspberry puree. Set aside to cool.
5. Using 12-ounce clear glasses pour a layer of panna cotta in each glass; chill until firm. Add a layer of passion fruit jelly; chill until firm. Add another layer of panna cotta; chill until firm. Add a layer of raspberry jelly; chill until firm. Add another layer of panna cotta; chill until firm. Chef David Rossi tops each with crunchy chocolate crumbs, tiny raspberry meringue “drops,” tiny dots of passion fruit puree and sorrel microgreens. For an easier at-home approach, top with fresh berries and a little whipped cream.

Source: David Rossi, executive pastry chef, The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim

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