Layered Chocolate & Lavender-Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Ingredients
For the Lavender-Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:
  • 6 tablespoons 90 ml cold water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons 22 ml unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
  • 2 cups 500 ml whipping cream (35% fat), or heavy cream
  • 2 cups 500 ml half-and-half (10.5-18% fat)
  • 1 cup 200 grams sugar (lavender sugar, if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean seeded and scraped
For the Chocolate Panna Cotta:
  • 1-3/4 cups 437 ml whipping cream (35% fat), or heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons 6. 25 ml unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
  • 2 tablespoons 24 grams sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces 60 grams quality dark chocolate (at least 50% cacao), finely chopped
For the Lavender Whipped Cream:
  • 3/4 cup 187 ml whipping cream (35% fat), cold
  • 1 tablespoon dried Culinary Lavender
  • 1 tablespoon 12 grams sugar (or lavender sugar, if possible)
  • A drop or two of violet gel colour optional
For decorating:
  • Dark chocolate piece or Dark Chocolate & Lavender, if possible
Instructions
For the Lavender-Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta layer:
  1. Pour the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the whipping cream, half-and-half, sugar, dried lavender and salt over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and mixture just comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from the heat and pour mixture through a fine strainer into a 4-cup measuring cup with spout. Stir in vanilla bean seeds, followed by the gelatin mixture, and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
  4. Divide among 8 individual serving glasses, custard cups or ramekins and bring to room temperature.Place on a flat surface in refrigerator for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
For the Chocolate Panna Cotta:
  1. Once your Lavender-Vanilla Panna Cotta layer has set, make the Chocolate layer:
  2. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the whipping cream into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit for 10 minutes. Place the bowl into a larger bowl with hot water and stir mixture until gelatin has completely dissolved.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining cream, sugar and salt just to a boil and remove promptly from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate until completely incorporated and smooth.
  4. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until well combined. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a 4-cup measuring cup with spout and let sit until it reaches room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  5. Divide among the well-chilled/set Lavender-Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta layered cups, cover loosely and let chill in refrigerator for another 5 hours or overnight.
For the Lavender Whipped Cream
  1. Prepare the whipped cream up to 2 hours before serving:
  2. Add dried lavender to whipped cream, cover and let sit for minimum 1 hour (the longer it sits, the stronger the flavour).
  3. Chill a stainless steel mixing bowl and metal whisk or hand mixer beaters for 15 minutes in freezer.
  4. Strain the cream into the mixing bowl, add the sugar (I used lavender sugar) and gel colour (if using), and beat just until it stiffens to peaks and keeps shape. Take care to not overbeat, or it will become grainy.
  5. Top each dessert with a dollop of Lavender Whipped Cream and a piece of dark chocolate, or dark chocolate with lavender.
Sweetapolita's Notes

Chilled Panna Cotta will keep well for 2 days.