Eggnog Panna Cotta

Eggnog Panna Cotta
-courtesy Dairy Farmers of Ontario;

A creamy dessert based on a classic Christmas beverage that is easy to put together.

Panna Cotta:
One packet of unflavoured gelatin (1 tbsp)
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
2 ¼ cups (560 mL) milk
½ tsp (2.5 mL) grated or ground nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1 tbsp (15 mL) Scotch (optional)
½ cup (125 mL) 35% cream

1 slice of store-bought gingerbread or banana bread, cut into cubes
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
½ cup (125 mL) 35% cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
A pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

Prepare the custard (panna cotta). Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until absorbed.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and spices.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and honey.

Pour the hot milk in a stream over the eggs while beating and then put in the saucepan. Add the vanilla extract and Scotch. Cook over low heat for a few minutes while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove from the heat and add the gelatin mixture. Mix until completely dissolved.

Strain through a sieve over a bowl. Place this bowl over another bowl filled with ice water. Stir often.

Beat the cream and gently fold into the rest of the custard mixture. Pour into 6 verrines and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Prepare the topping. In a small frying pan, slightly brown the gingerbread cubes on all sides in the butter over low heat. Place on a paper towel. Beat the cream until it is firm and then add the honey.

Right before serving, place a spoonful of whipped cream on each panna cotta. Decorate with cinnamon or nutmeg and the gingerbread croutons.

Get a head start: The panna cotta can be prepared 2 days in advance. The whipped cream can also be prepared 2 days in advance but will need a bit of whisking just before serving. The gingerbread croutons can be made several days in advance.