Me and the mister don’t really do anything too fancy for Valentine’s day, we might go out to dinner or a movie, but we don’t really do a big gift exchange. Sure, someday when we have money to throw at each other (yes, this is what I imagine all rich people do with their money) we could get each other fancy things like a watch or earrings, but at heart we’re not really showy people and are pretty private about our affection, (which to me makes it all the more special). All I really care about on Valentine’s day is being with him and having fun together; if we do those two things on Valentine’s day then I’ll be a happy little lady, regardless of whether that means we’re sitting on the sofa watching King of the Hill or out on a yacht eating oysters (yes, this is my other rich people fantasy).
But one thing I always do on Valentine’s is make something sweet. Last year I made a giant chocolate cake that, while incredibly delicious, was very tedious and time-consuming. This year I wanted to make something simple but elegant. So, I decided to make a blood orange panna cotta. This was my first time making panna cotta; I kept putting it off because for some reason I always thought it was a very temperamental dish to prepare, but once I looked into it I realized that it’s really not that much more difficult than making jello. Essentially: heat ingredients over stovetop, pour into a glass or ramekin, then chill and serve when gelled. I did, however, make it a bit more complicated by adding candied blood oranges to the mix again, but they’re just so darn beautiful and delicious that I couldn’t hold back! Plus I still had a lot of blood oranges around.
I am glad I used them for this though, as the cream and citrus flavors went realllllly well together. It tasted like an orange dreamsicle popsicle with a hint of raspberry thrown in, but MUCH prettier than a popsicle. So, if you want to make something that really *POPS*, but don’t want to spend hours slaving over a hot oven, this is an excellent solution.
1 Packet Gelatin
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Water
2 Teaspoons Finely Grated Blood Orange Zest
Whisk together the blood orange juice, water, and gelatin in a small bowl and set aside. Bring the sugar and heavy cream to a boil in a small pot over medium heat, whisking every couple minutes. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and whisk in the gelatin mixture.
Continue cooking for two minutes, whisking the entire time. Remove from heat and whisk in the blood orange zest and the vanilla extract until combined. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before distributing into 6 separate ramekins. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator to gel for 6 hours or overnight. Once set, drizzle a bit of the syrup from the candied blood oranges into each ramekin (a tablespoon or two depending on how sweet you want it) and garnish each ramekin with a candied blood orange. Serve immediately.