Ramekins of any size can be used here: small ones for individual appetizers or larger ones to share. This recipe will fill about six small ramekins or four large ones, and it can easily be halved.
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (available in specialty stores or online), plus additional to coat ramekins and garnish
- 1 cup whole toasted and skinned hazelnuts, plus additional for garnish
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large cloves roasted garlic, mashed to paste (optional)
- 8 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 4 sheets leaf gelatin
- Salt, to taste
Brush ramekins lightly with hazelnut oil. Set aside.
Chop hazelnuts finely in food processor or blender. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream, garlic and ground hazelnuts to simmer. Just before it boils, remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. Pass through chinois or other fine strainer, pressing on hazelnuts to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp, and set aside strained milk mixture.
Add goat cheese and hazelnut oil to milk mixture. Return to saucepan, and set over low heat. Bring to simmer, and whisk to combine and melt cheese. While heating, soak gelatin by covering in cold water for 5 minutes. Squeeze excess water from gelatin sheets and add to milk mixture. Whisk until gelatin melts and dissolves. Salt to taste.
Pour mixture into ramekins. Refrigerate at least 24 hours to fully set. To serve, run knife around edges of ramekins to loosen panna cotta, then invert onto plates. Drizzle with hazelnut oil. Garnish with chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Robert Mondavi 2014 To Kalon Vineyard Estate Grown Reserve Fumé Blanc (Oakville); $40, 95 points. From the beautiful, historic site planted to some of the oldest vines of the variety in Northern California, this delicious white explodes in juicy green apple and an intensity of fresh-squeezed lemon. That succulence lingers atop a lengthy, salty texture wrapped in subtle, supportive oak. Editors’ Choice. —Virginie Boone