The countdown is officially on for Valentine’s Day, so why not wow your sweetheart with a luxurious dessert? Today I partnered with Katherine Toy, the pastry chef at Flora in Oakland, to share a recipe for chocolate panna cotta topped with citrus and candied rose petals that is both gorgeous and luxuriously yummy.
In her own words, this panna cotta, Italian for “cooked cream,” is a grown up version of our favorite childhood chocolate pudding. It combines the flavors of dried cherries and raisins from the chocolate with juicy citrus at the height of its season. Rose petals add a bit of romantic drama to the plate. This dessert is the perfect indulgent ending to a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Chocolate Panna Cotta with Citrus and Candied Rose Petals
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 + 2T cup sugar
2 1/2 sheets of bronze gelatin
3 oz Valrhona 64% chocolate, chopped 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Page mandarins 3 blood oranges
2 large white roses
1 egg white
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Melt chocolate over a double boiler, set aside.
Place sheet gelatin in a bowl of ice water to soften. When malleable, drain and squeeze dry. Set aside.
In a small sauce pot, heat heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer. Turn off heat. Whisk in gelatin, then melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Once thoroughly combined, strain into a bowl. Place over an ice bath and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is cool and starts to thicken.
Fill lightly greased 4 ounce ramekins, about 3/4 full, with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours or overnight.
Supreme and segment mandarins and blood oranges, being use to remove any seeds, set aside.
Gently separate rose petals. Holding the petal at the base with a pair of tweezers, brush both sides with a light layer of egg white. Dip into a bowl of granulated sugar, using other hand if necessary to coat every part of the petal. Place on a piece of parchment and let dry in a cool dry place, this will take about 2 days.
Plating: Unmold the set panna cotta by holding the ramekin at a slight angle and gently pull on the surface. Once it starts to pulls away, tip onto desired plate. Garnish with citrus segments and top with a few candied rose petals, curved side down.
The restaurant itself is also gorgeous and rich with art deco details. I mean, just look at this space.
The next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by Flora for a delicious meal and fantastic cocktails: 1900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, California 94612.
photography by Jojotastic