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Honey Mascarpone Panna Cotta with (or without) Pomegranate Syrup

Yields1 Serving

 1 pkg. plain gelatin (or 1 tablespoon if you buy it in bulk)
 1 L half & half or 18% coffee cream
 1/2 cup mascarpone
 1/4 cup honey
 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)
Pomegranate Syrup (optional)
 2 cups pomegranate juice (POM comes in 473 mL bottles-perfect)
 1/2 cup sugar
 a few strips of orange zest (optional)

Pour the cream into a medium pot and sprinkle with gelatin. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the gelatin soften. Set the pot over medium heat and stir, warming the cream but not letting it boil, until the gelatin is completely dissolved.


Add the mascarpone (I just eyeball it, adding a large spoonful) and honey and cook, stirring, until the mascarpone is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.


Pour the mixture into individual wine glasses, small dishes or ramekins. (If you want to unmould them onto a plate to serve them, spray the dishes with nonstick spray first.) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until set. (These can be made up to a few days in advance; cover each dish with plastic wrap to avoid having them dry out on top.)


To make the pomegranate syrup, simmer the pomegranate juice, sugar and orange peel in a small pot set over medium heat until it reduces by half. Remove the peel and cool completely - it should have the consistency of syrup. (This too can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated.)


Serve your panna cotta in the ramekins or unmoulded onto a small plate, drizzled with pomegranate syrup.