“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone’s eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too.”
Isn't that a beautiful quote? I read this quote on Deeba's blog a while back and it just resonated with me. Deeba is one of the food bloggers whose sense of food styling and photography I love and her recipes always awe me. So she had this quote on one of her posts where she was celebrating PINKTOBER (also known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month). It is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. After reading the post I felt that I needed to talk about it here in my small space as well and I had my own reasons for that.
Having lost a close family member to cancer not too long ago I know how this six letter word can change the fate of a family. Almost 7.6 million people die of cancer every year and every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer in the US. A huge part of the affected population get to know about their illness when it is too late. Were they more educated about the screening methods, the results would be very different. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, American Cancer Society and many such organizations are doing a great job at prevention and cure of the disease. If we are educated enough about the disease then its our duty to spread the word.
I thought of doing my bit as well and what better way than doing it all with food! So I decided to keep it simple, keep it sweet and keep it PINK. I thought about it for a few days but nothing that came to mind was good or worthy enough to be called a pinktober recipe. Then, being as twitter bugged as I am these days, I tweeted about it and asked my tweet buddies if they could suggest something.
To my greatest surprise people came up with so many great ideas (thank you so much you guys!). A fellow tweeter suggested I make a strawberry tart, then another friend said I should make a berry shortcake and pink champagne and then a pink mousse was also in the list. But the two suggestions that I couldn't stop thinking about were from my blogger friends Pick Yin who asked I make this gorgeous torte and the other was from Terri who thought a Panna Cotta would be a good idea. So you know whose suggestion I went with! Not because others were not interesting and YUM enough but being a lazy bone as I am I found a panna cotta to be easier to put together and it needed the least cleaning after!
Since the dish was supposed to be pink, a panna cotta with berry sauce or actual berries inside would have been an obvious choice. So I thought of doing something that I had never tried before. I therefore decided to make a Rose Panna Cotta. If you've never tried making a panna cotta then let me tell you this is the easiest dessert to put together in the whole entire world! If my one year old was not into a bad habit of shoving everything into her mouth then she could have made it! Yes! You just grab all the ingredients, mix them all together and pour into containers!
I had never tried making a Rose Panna Cotta before, so I went to google! The top two recipes that I liked were this and this. I went with the latter one albeit with a few changes. And just to show you proof how delicious the dessert turned out to be, I have a before and after photograph for you!
So now the recipe... But before that let me remind you that if you have not checked out the giveaway that's going on on this blog then you have to go here.
Ingredients: (adapted from www.marthastewart.com)
Though the original recipe says it serves 4, I found that it only serves 2.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
2 to 3 tsp rose water
1 drop pink or red gel paste food coloring (optional)
(Again the original recipe had a raspberry and lychee syrup which I omitted)
Place a sauce pan on medium heat and add heavy cream and sugar into it.
Bring it to simmer while constantly stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl add water and gelatin, stir to dissolve and let it sit for a couple minutes for it to soften.
Then add the hot cream n sugar mixture into the gelatin while stirring for the gelatin to dissolve.
With mascarpone in a bowl now, strain this mixture into the cheese and stir for everything to mix well.
Add rose water and color.
Strain mixture into a measuring cup and divide it into ramekins.
Place the ramekins in the refrigerator and let it chill for atleast 3-4 hours or until the panna cotta becomes firm enough, almost like a jelly.
When ready to eat, dip the ramekins in hot water for a few seconds. Take them out and run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen them up and then flip it over on a serving plate. Sometimes they won't come out easily so take a sharp knife and while the ramekin is inverted over the plate insert the knife somewhere in the edge to release the vacuum and panna cotta will ease out.
You can serve it with a berry sauce but I liked it as is with a rose petal as garnish.