Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
How-To

How to Make Panna Cotta

Get to know this light and luscious Italian dessert

April/May 2016 Issue
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

Panna cotta is practically the perfect dessert. Let me count the ways. Most important, it’s delicious. A simple concoction of sweetened cream laced with vanilla (and often other flavors), it’s thickened with just enough gelatin to hold its shape and give a slight jiggle, while still being soft enough to readily melt in your mouth.

It offers some practical conveniences, too: It requires no more than a slip of time to prepare, it can be made a day ahead, and it’s served cold or at room temperature (so there’s no need for reheating). Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and easy to make dairy-free.



Choose a shape

You can use just about any small vessel to mold your panna cottas. Ramekins, small bowls, pastry molds, and even drinking glasses are all fair game. The mixture will set up in the shape of whatever vessel you choose. From there, it can be unmolded using the recipe instructions or served straight from the vessel.

Change up your dairy

Traditionally, panna cotta (Italian for cooked cream) is made with cream and milk. I use half-and-half in my basic version, but I also like to make panna cotta with other dairy and even nondairy ingredients, which change the flavor and offer subtle differences in texture. Sour cream and buttermilk are favorites. Both give panna cotta a mildly tart flavor. Sour cream also adds extra richness, while a buttermilk version feels even lighter and fresher than the original. For a dairy-free option, I use coconut milk. To accommodate the varying amounts of fat in each of these, I’ve adjusted the amount of gelatin I use, so they all set up beautifully.

Top it off with sauce

Glossy and white, panna cotta can look a bit stark on its own. Fruity toppings like a rhubarb compote, cherry brandy sauce, or blueberry sauce make a bright contrast for the creamy dessert. Honey caramel sauce, on the other hand, adds another layer of complex sweetness. Try mixing and matching the panna cottas and sauces below for an effortlessly sophisticated and tasty way to end a meal.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

San Juan, Puerto Rico (513)

Miami chef Michelle Bernstein steps into the host role as Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking travels to Puerto Rico—an episode that was filmed in the summer prior to Hurricane Maria,…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks