An Ode to Panna Cotta…

It’s Friday!  Signifying the end to another work week and the beginning of a weekend… so we thought it’d be nice to switch gears from our pickled and starchy friends to a quick and tasty dessert.

And this dessert goes by the name Panna Cotta…

Jello.  Yay.  Orange Jello.  Double Yay.  Flan.  Triple Yay.

Panna Cotta… pass.

Panna Cotta is gelatinous and creamy like it’s Spanish cousin, flan, but has just never turned my head the same way.  Kelson thought it was “meh”, while I was convinced it was sort of a mushy cream mess.  Boy, were we wrong!

Within the last month, we have experienced delicious panna cotta.  Creamy.  Flavorful.  Delicate, yet so complicated.  Always with that strong flavor of heavy cream and vanilla… sometimes with a hint of mint, drizzled with fruit-based syrup, touched with grilled peaches, or capturing an essence of lemon.

Panna cotta is good.

Panna Cotta Recipe

*Original recipe can be found from David Lebowitz’s wonderful blog (adapted from “Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen” by Judy Witts).

Serves 8


  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 tsp)
  • 6 tbl cold water
  1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. LIGHTLY oil the bundt pan.  I would advise using an oil that does not have a taste (example: if you use olive oil, then you’re going to taste the olive oil.
  3. Put the cold water in a bowl.  Mix in the gelatin mixture and let is sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the saucepan mixture into the gelatin mixture.  Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
  5. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the bundt pan.  Refrigerate for 3 hours.

If you do end up using the mini-bundt pan, you’ll find that vanilla paste tends to settle and you won’t get that beautiful stark white/cream look.  I found heavy cream to give me more of the texture and flavor I was seeking.  Half and half was very light and a bit lacking in flavor, but probably better for the waistline.  But hey, you’re eating a dessert made from cream and sugar!  You might as well make it right and enjoy!


6 thoughts on “An Ode to Panna Cotta…

  1. If you chill the base over an ice bath while stirring occasionally the vanilla bean will stay suspended throughout the base instead of settling to the bottom on the pan once its poured in. On another note, panna cottas are my all time favorite dessert to eat and make. Great job guys 😉

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