Sweetened with white chocolate only, this rich, Middle Eastern-inspired panna cotta, from Phillip Basone, gets its distinctive floral aroma from an infusion of blistered cardamom.
6 green cardamom pods
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
12 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
Zest of 1 orange
⅓ cup orange marmalade
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 orange, peeled of pith and segmented
1. Place cardamom pods in an 8" skillet over high heat, and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until charred and blistered in spots, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and using a muddler or wooden spoon, crush to expose seeds; then transfer to a 2-qt. saucepan along with cream, ¾ cup milk, ¼ tsp. salt, and vanilla bean with seeds; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and let steep for 10 minutes. Combine remaining milk and gelatin in a small bowl; let sit to soften gelatin, about 5 minutes.
2. Place white chocolate in a bowl, and pour steeped cream mixture and gelatin mixture over chocolate; let sit for 1 minute. Using a small rubber spatula, slowly stir chocolate from the center until gelatin dissolves, and mixture emulsifies and is smooth. Pour through a fine strainer into a large glass measuring cup; discard solids. Divide mixture among six 6–8-oz. shallow ramekins or custard molds, and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a 2-qt. saucepan; add juice, liqueur, and zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring often, until thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in marmalade and butter until smooth; let cool to room temperature. Add orange segments, and stir gently to combine with sauce; set aside.
4. To serve, run a paring knife around the edge of each ramekin, invert panna cotta onto a small plate, and spoon orange sauce on the side.