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Salt & Pepper Chocolate Panna Cotta

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Dried strawberries, soaked in Texas Port -- a great Hill Country garnish.

Dried strawberries, soaked in Texas Port — a great Hill Country garnish.

This recipe features Port Sundried Strawberries, flavors that really will go great with a dessert glass of — you guessed it — a good Texas-produced Port.  The caramel ice cream topping, a little salt and dark chocolate make this dish sound irresistible.

Salt & Pepper Chocolate Panna Cotta

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping, jarred
4 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Torre di Pietra Tango Port
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/3 cup Ported Sundried Strawberries (see recipe)
Freshly ground black pepper
Ported Sundried Strawberries
1/2 cup sundried strawberries
1/4 cup Torre di Pietra Tango Port

For the panna cotta: Place the water and gelatin in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes to soften.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine heavy cream and half and half. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat immediately.

While still hot, stir in caramel topping and chopped chocolate, mixing well until melted and fully incorporated.

Add soften gelatin and stir to dissolve completely. Add Port and sea salt. Stir to incorporate.

Divide mixture evenly between 6 large martini glasses. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until firmly set.

For the Strawberries: Combine berries and Port in a small bowl. Allow to marinate for 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Dish assembly: Just before serving, grind a little black pepper on the surface of the panna cotta. Top with a few of the Ported Sundried Strawberries.

Serves 6.

From “The Texas Hill Country Cookbook” by Cabernet Grill Chef/Owner Ross Burtwell

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