Adapted from Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Serves 6-8, depending on the size of cups you use
For the panna cotta:
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 Tbl cold water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the cold water and allow it to set for 5 minutes. Add the cream, sugar, salt and vanilla to a medium-sized sauce pan. Over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, bring this mixture to just a simmer – Do not let it boil. Stir in the gelatin-water mixture (which should be pretty thick by now) and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and allow it to cool about five minutes.
Place the sour cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Slowly add the warm cream mixture, stirring in a little at a time, until smooth. (I like to use a rubber spatula, rather than a whisk, because it makes for less bubbles on the tops of the panna cotta. But this means that I have to stir extra well, to insure total smoothness and combination of ingredients.)
Fill 6-8 tea cups or soufflé cups about 3/4 full with the cream mixture. Chill for at least 8 hours (which was enough time for me the other day) but you’d be even safer with about 12 hours. To serve, top each cup of panna cotta with about 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic strawberries and a bit of their syrup. Serve cold.
For the balsamic strawberries:
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
Toss all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour, to encourage the strawberries to release their juices. Cover and refrigerate until needed, up to one day. Serve cold or at room temperature.