Panna Cotta literally means “cooked cream” in Italian. This is such a perfect dessert for a romantic night at home or for a crowd! This is my husbands favorite dessert! He loves the creaminess and texture of it. He loves all things Italian so no surprise an Italian dessert is his favorite! I love how creamy Panna Cotta is. It’s so silky and smooth! And I love this can be made up to two days in advance. Just keep it in your fridge until you are ready to serve.
The first time we had Panna Cotta was on our honeymoon. We took a cruise down to Mexico. It was the perfect honeymoon! The Panna Cotta we had on that trip was served on a plate with fruit surrounding it. (Like this.) That’s a popular way to serve Panna Cotta but I figured it’d be so much easier to just make it in wine glasses and not worry about unmolding it. You can serve it either of those ways or even in ramekins or small bowls.
You can top Panna Cotta with fresh fruit or make a berry compote like I did. I used frozen mixed berries but you could just use one type of berry if you want. Some people also serve it with chocolate but I think fruit compliments it perfectly! The mixed berry compote I made was quick to make and so good! It was the perfect addition to this lovely dessert!
The Panna Cotta is very simple to make. The only ingredient you may not be familiar with is unflavored gelatin. But it’s super easy to find in the baking aisle of your grocery store. It’s crucial to use this because it sets up the Panna Cotta so it’s thick.
The rest of the ingredients are simple, milk, heavy whipping cream, a little sugar and vanilla. I use vanilla bean paste but you can use vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean pod. It all makes for one of the simplest but fanciest desserts! It’s perfect!
One Year Ago: Honey Lime Fruit Toss
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Three Years Ago: The NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
- ½ cup milk, cold
- ½ tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ½ vanilla bean pod (cut lengthwise and scrape out seeds) or ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a large bowl add the cold milk then sprinkle on the unflavored gelatin. Do not stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Combine the heavy whipping cream and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in the vanilla extract or paste and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. If using a bean pod discard.
- Pour simmered cream mixture over the gelatin/milk mixture and stir until all the gelatin is dissolved.
- Pour cream mixture in 2-4 serving glasses or ramekins (it just depends on the size how many you will need.) Carefully place in fridge and let set for a few hours or overnight.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the fruit and sugar. Heat until the fruit begins to release its juices. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the cold water and lemon juice until lump free, then stir the slurry into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute until thickened. Remove from the heat. Cool before adding to the panna cotta.
- When the panna cotta has set, in the fridge and ready to be served, spoon the berry compote over the serving glasses and top with a mint leaf. Serve chilled.
Adapted from Ichigo Shortcake & Annie’s Eats
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