We love great movies here at Urban Mommies. Oscar night allows us to indulge our Hollywood fantasies as star or director, studio boss or film reviewer. We all become movie experts on Oscar night. Chef Wolfgang Puck makes the celebration of cinema’s brightest night delicious with this award-worthy recipe for Raspberry Panna Cotta. What I particularly appreciate about this recipe is the share worthy-ness of the Panna Cotta technique, which can become the “little black dress” of your dessert repertoire. Dressed up for a night on the town, a red-carpet premiere or a romantic night at home, the Panna Cotta can wear the gorgeous fruits of the season or special occasion.
The other aspect of this legendary pairing is the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, the exclusive Champagne of the Academy Awards. Not every wine with “bubbles” is a Champagne. Remember, mommies, in order to be called Champagne, the wine must be from the Champagne region of France, and will be clearly indicated as such on the label. The wine label will tell you every thing you need to know about what is in the bottle.
Reading the label will help you choose a successful wine for celebrating the same way a good review will guide you in choosing a movie to watch for family movie night. Like with any wine, as with movies, there are some lovely examples of wines with bubbles like the Piper-Heidsieck and others best left on the “editing room floor” on Oscar night. Pairing Champagne with a dessert to achieve harmony is done brilliantly by Chef Wolfgang Puck and the House of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.
Why Champagne on Oscar night? Because for every category, there will be one winner. And while yes, it is indeed an honor just to be nominated, I will tell you it feels much better to win. It calls to mind the words of Champagne lover and Prime Minister Winston Churchill who observed of the glorious bubbles: “In success you deserve it, and in defeat you need it.”
Truth. So on Oscar night, join me in raising a glass to all the nominees, winners and movie loving Mommies.
- 1/2 ounce sheet gelatin
- 7 fluid ounces Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Champagne
- 7 fluid ounces lychee puree
- Fresh raspberries
- Panna Cotta:
- 1/2 ounce sheet gelatin
- 21 fluid ounces cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 24 fluid ounces raspberry puree
- First, make the Lychee Champagne Gelee: Put the gelatin sheet in a small bowl and add ice water to cover. Leave the gelatin until it blooms, turning soft and pliable, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the Champagne and lychee puree in a saucepan and warm, stirring, over medium-low heat.
- When the gelatin has bloomed, gently lift it out and gently wring to remove excess water. Add the gelatin to the warm Champagne-lychee mixture and stir until fully dissolved and blended in.
- Spoon the mixture into individual small serving glasses or bowls to form a thin layer in their bottoms. Add a few raspberries to each glass. Place the glasses on a tray and refrigerate until set completely.
- While the Lychee Champagne Gelee sets, prepare the Raspberry Panna Cotta: Put the gelatin sheet in a small bowl and add ice water to cover. Leave the gelatin until it blooms, turning soft and pliable, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Put half of the cream and all of the sugar in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Gently squeeze excess water from the bloomed gelatin, add the gelatin to the pan, and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in the remaining cream and the raspberry puree.
- Immediately place the bottom of the pan in a large mixing bowl filled with ice cubes and water and stir until the mixture feels cool to the touch. Spoon the Raspberry Panna Cotta mixture evenly over the Lychee Champagne Gelee in each glass and return to the refrigerator to cool until completely set, 2 to 4 hours, before serving.
- Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck Catering, Executive Pastry Chef Tyler Atwell