I had heard a lot about the wonderful creaminess of panna cotta and was surprised when I discovered that I actually had not tried it ever. So last week I decided to get a hands-on experience with this dessert (there goes my diet again -_-). I looked at the recipe and it asked for 3 cups of heavy cream, woww, that's a lot of cream, no wonder it's creamy :p I chose to make champagne panna cotta (got the recipe from here), just because I had champagne in the fridge. I added vanilla bean to half of the mix and 1/2 cup of raspberry jam to another half to make 2 slightly different flavors. Then, I made rose strawberry sauce to go with them, by simmering 1 cup of frozen strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and 2 tablespoons rose water. I liked the flavor combination and could really taste each ingredient in the final result. The panna cotta was indeed VERY creamy, a little bit too rich almost, but the sourness of the strawberry in the sauce kind of cut the richness a little bit.
I gave the vanilla bean champagne one to my friend and still couldn't finish the raspberry one by myself. My brain started thinking of ways to turn it into another dessert and I thought CUPCAKES!! I baked a batch of Martha Stewart's white cupcake, mashed the panna cotta, cut holes in the middle of the cupcakes, and fill them with the mashed panna cotta. I also whipped up a batch of raspberry rose egg-yolk buttercream (classic egg-yolk buttercream + raspberry jam and rose water to taste), spread a thin layer of it on top of the cupcake, then covered and decorated the cupcake with fondant. Ta-daaaa, a brand new dessert with the same good flavor :D The cupcakes were very good, not as rich as the panna cotta alone, and the filling helped to make the cupcake stayed moist even after several days of refrigeration.