September 21, 2022

Panna Cotta

A Creamy Italian Delight

panna cotta with fresh berries on top
Panna Cotta 15

Panna Cotta

Small glass dessert cups with panna cotta and fresh raspberries

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Rather than serving milk with dinner, the French and Italians often serve dairy as a course after the main dish, such as cheese or this delicious treat called Panna Cotta. There is nothing quite like Panna Cotta for its simplicity and elegance when it comes to desserts.   

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made with cooked cream and is a delight to the palate. The traditional way to serve panna cotta is in ramekins, small cups, or verrines, as we say in French. However, you can serve your Panna cotta in one large bowl for dessert during the week and for a snack after school.

Panna cotta is made with just a few simple ingredients: cream, milk, sugar, gelatin, and vanilla extract. But don't let the simplicity of this dessert fool you – it is absolutely delicious and impressive.

The ingredients are simmered over medium heat. Then, the mixture is poured into the small cups or verrines and refrigerated until it sets. Once set, you can enjoy panna cotta topped with fruit sauce, fresh fruit, or a drizzle of French Syrups such as caramel or raspberry. Panna Cotta is genuinely an irresistible dessert that is sure to please everyone. So, the next time you're looking for something special, give panna cotta a try - you won't be disappointed.



500 ml heavy whipping cream

100 ml of whole milk

80 grams of granulated sugar

8 grams of powdered gelatin

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract


1. Put the gelatin in a small bowl with two tablespoons of milk to soften the gelatin.

2. Add the milk and cream to a sauce pot and warm over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. 

3. Add the sugar to the saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves.

4. Remove from heat and add the gelatin and whisk until it’s dissolved.

5. Pour the cream mixture into a large serving bowl or into small individual-size serving bowls or ramekins, and chill for at least 3 hours. 

panna cotta with fresh berries on top

6. Serve the Panna Cotta as is, or top it with a teaspoon of fruit coulis, which is a fruit sauce, such as raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry.  An easy and delicious alternative to fruit sauce is a small drizzle of French Syrup, such as raspberry or caramel.  A small amount is all you need, 1/16 to 1/8 of a teaspoon.  And, of course, the addition of fresh berries on top is always welcome. 

Two ounce cups filled with panna cotta and topped with raspberry and caramel French syrups, and fresh raspberries

Panna Cotta served in 2 or 4-ounce verrines is an easy and impressive idea for entertaining and when you bring a dish to a party. Here is the link to find the 2-ounce sizes shown here.  

Two OUnce dessert cups filled with panna cotta and topped with raspberry sauce nad fresh raspberreis 


Keep an eye on your pot because cream and milk can overboil, and it’s a mess to clean up.

A kitchen scale that measures in pounds and grams is a small investment that will save you time in the kitchen, so you don’t have to make conversions. Here is the one I use. 

This version is not very sweet. If you want your panna cotta to be sweeter, you can use up to 100 grams of sugar, but in my opinion, more than that is too sweet.

Sometimes I use 7 grams of gelatin instead of 8 grams for a creamier version. Test the different amounts of sugar and gelatin and discover what you like best.

It is easier to measure the quantity you need when you buy powdered gelatin in a container instead of individual packets.

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

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