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Jellied Root Beer Floats

Thank you elise for picking such a great theme. Gelatin really set me off on a series of recipes that I wouldn’t ordinarily have made. Beyond making Jello as a child, rather poorly, I might add, I had no experience with gelatin before this event. I seem to be a bit hooked at the moment, though. Gelatin is very easy to work with and can be mixed with just about any liquid to make an easy, light jelly or mousse.

While scouting for appealing recipes, I came across a recipe on the Food Network website for Root Beer Gelee and Vanilla Panna Cotta. I love root beer floats and that is what came to my mind immediately when I saw their photo. How could you not love a tall glass of cool root beer poured over a big scoop of vanilla ice cream? I imagined that the combination of panna cotta and root beer would be similar in flavor. It turned out to be a great combination.

Unfortunately, I had no root beer and used vanilla bean cream soda instead, as you cen see in the photo, so this is not actually a root beer float. I really enjoyed this dessert, though, and think that it would have been fantastic with root beer. Root beer has a stronger flavor than cream soda and, though the vanilla melded well with the panna cotta, I think something slightly more assertive would have been more interesting.

It didn’t take very long to set the gelatin, but do be careful when pouring in the panna cotta layer. I would advise you to pour it down the side of the glass to avoid putting pressure on the surface of the root beer layer. You can leave it in your fridge for quite some time before serving, but because the panna cotta layer is not so thick, I would suggest letting it soften slightly at room temperature for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

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  • Cathy
    May 22, 2005

    Nic – What a neat idea! This looks great. I’ve never had a cream soda, but can imagine what it might be like with root beer – yum!

  • Ana
    May 22, 2005

    Nic, what a beautiful dessert. It is so beautiful to see the layer separation. I’m not too keen on rootbeer but I love panna cota and, as you said, you can use any liquid to set gelatin.

  • Jennifer
    May 22, 2005

    These are adorable. What a great twist to the rootbeer float!

  • Nic
    May 22, 2005

    Cathy – Root beer and vanilla are a great combo. Cream soda is similar, but more mild. I’m pretty sure that root beer (or another cola) would be the best choice.

    Ana – I had never made a layer gelatin before. It’s a great way to add flavors to panna cotta and keep the dessert light.

    Jannifer – Thanks. The world needs more root beer floats.

  • Elise
    May 22, 2005

    Who would have thunk it? What a creative spin on a childhood classic. Thanks for posting!

  • Nic
    May 22, 2005

    Elise – I enjoyed posting it just as much as I enjoyed making and eating it.

  • sari
    May 22, 2005

    I love an icy mug of root beer float with good vanilla ice-cream! They call it spider in Australia!

    I love all the recipes you posted! They are all worth a try! Thank you for being so generous in sharing em.. Id come check yr blog and try out some recipes sooon!!

  • Anonymous
    May 22, 2005

    Nic…what a twist! The presentation is fab, and I’ll bet the taste is incredible…


  • Clare Eats
    May 22, 2005

    Hi Nic,

    that looks great, and soo pretty

  • Nic
    May 22, 2005

    Michie – I’ve had a lime spider once, but never a root beer spider. Cute name for the drink, though. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.

    Moria – I don’t think I’m experienced enough yet to have incredible panna cotta (perhaps by accident!), but it is pretty darn good.

    Claire – Thanks. =)

  • Stephanie
    May 22, 2005

    What a fantastic idea! I love it.

  • chronicler
    May 23, 2005

    Oh my, truly amazing Nic! What a beautiful presentation! Very very nice! This is such a vreative way to do a RB float. I must steal your recipe!

  • Santos
    May 23, 2005

    hi nic–i’d made a similar recipe from cook’s country magazine, and i thought it was so cool that i was sure someone else would also post it, so i opted to enter something else. i’m so glad you’ve made this one with panna cotta, though, it looks lovely, and the cream soda is a great substitute.

  • Jessica
    May 30, 2005

    About Alice’s chocolate mousse recipe-it’s definitely a repeat! It’s richest when refrigerated-I can’t eat more than a tablespoon at a time. The frozen truffle is best when it sits out for about 30 seconds so the tiny ice crystals melt. If you can’t wait that long, it’s still very good.

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