One of the best smelling scents out there is Wild Orange essential oil (known to some as ‘liquid sunshine’ because just one whiff of the stuff and you can’t help but smile). It tastes great, too. So when I saw a recipe for panna cotta using wild orange oil, I was all over it! And I wasn’t disappointed.
Panna Cotta with Wild Orange is super easy to make and tastes great. It’s one of those recipes where everyone will be both impressed and asking for more! (Panna cotta, if you’re not familiar with it, it a cold, sweetened sweet cream recipe that’s a lot like custard.)
Ingredients for Panna Cotta:
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin ( I use this)
(A note here about the gelatin quantities: The first time I made this, I used 2 teaspoons as the recipe called for, but the panna cotta didn’t set up very well. It was more like a soft yogurt consistency. So, I made it again and doubled the amount of gelatin. This made the panna cotta more Jello-like in consistency, a bit too hard for my tastes. The third time, I used 1.5 teaspoons and it turned out perfectly. Just like custard.)
½ cup sugar
1 cup vanilla yogurt
4-8 drops Wild Orange essential oil
Ingredients for Gelee Topping:
¾ cup Orange Juice
Place ¼ cup of cream into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin into mixture while stirring constantly (to avoid chunks). Let it sit for a few minutes.
Add ½ cup sugar and remaining cream to a saucepan and stir together over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add the cream with gelatin to this mixture. Then add yogurt and essential oils. Stir until blended.
Divide between 6-8 small glass containers (4-ounce mason jars, small juice glasses, martini glasses, etc. I used votive candle holders for some of it.) and chill in fridge overnight.
Once panna cotta is set, heat orange juice on stove top or in microwave to a simmer. Sprinkle one teaspoon gelatin on top as you stir it in. Let set until room temperature. Once cool, pour on top of panna cotta. Refrigerate again, until gelee is set.
The Good for You Stuff
There are some great health benefits to using both Wild Orange essential oil and beef bone gelatin (can we say dessert is good for us this way??!?!?!)
Wild Orange is ‘feel good’ oil, helping to uplift mood, de-stress stress, banish fear and anxious feelings and help with emotional balance. It’s also known to help with discomfort in the chest and occassonal sleeplessness, among other things. Just opening the bottle of Wild Orange and breathing it in, helps me feel better right away.
For this recipe, you can use any kind of gelatin you like. I choose beef gelatin, but most of any kind will give you some great health benefits if you’re using a good quality gelatin. Gelatin improves gut health, helps decrease joint pain, improve skin and bone health and helps support heart health.
Okay, so maybe pannacotta, even with Wild Orange essential oils and beef gelatin is still a treat, not something you should eat daily, but doesn’t it make you feel better that even desserts can be filled with healthy-for-you ingredients? It sure does for me!