These silky vanilla bean cheesecake panna cottas are just the thing to end a festive meal. They are rich and creamy, and just the right size to satisfy. Plus, they look like little votive candles on the table! Each panna cotta is around 250 calories — enjoy every bite.
Make ahead tip: These can be made up to 1 day in advance.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 3-6 hours
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 1 envelope plain gelatin
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 cup plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils, optional
1. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside for 15 minutes to soften.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup milk, the whipping cream and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and add the empty pod. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Strain the panna cotta mixture through a fine mesh sieve, removing the vanilla bean, then stir in the reserved gelatin mixture. When the mixture has cooled, whisk in the cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes.
4. Into the bottom of 10 small dessert or shot glasses, pour 4 ounces of the panna cotta into each glass. Refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours, until set.
5. Top with 1 tablespoon each of pomegranate seeds, if desired, and serve. Enjoy!
Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, is a nutrition expert, writer and best-selling author. Her books include Feed the Belly, The CarbLovers Diet and Eating in Color. Follow her @FrancesLRothRD