Desserts Italian Recipes Recipes

How to make Panna cotta

Panna cotta is the kind of dessert that looks complicated but is actually incredibly easy to make. Unlike its high-maintenance cousin, crème brûlée, this simple, elegant, easy dessert takes less than 30 minutes to assemble and can rest in the fridge for at least a week before unmolding. With its creamy, slightly jiggly texture, it’s the perfect make-ahead dessert for capping off a low-stress dinner party, whether you top it with fresh strawberries, a tangy blueberry compote, a spoonful of cocktail cherries and a grating of orange zest (as pictured), or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italy, and that’s essentially what the base is: heated heavy cream (often with a little half-and-half or whole milk) set with powdered gelatin and flavored with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. The mixture is poured into ramekins (you could also use small bowls or simple molds) and chilled. Be aware that gelatin is, technically, an animal product. If you want to make a vegan (or kosher) version of this treat, try this version made with kuzu starch and almond milk.

Commonly asked questions

Can you freeze panna cotta?

Yes, you can! It keeps well in the freezer. Leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw thoroughly before eating.

How long does panna cotta
stay good in the fridge?

Panna cotta will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Keep covered with plastic wrap.

Can I replace the heavy cream with milk?

If you want to reduce the amount of cream in the recipe, you can substitute it for a lighter cream or whole milk. However, I do recommend keeping at least ⅓ of the heavy cream to maintain the super creamy and rich texture and flavor and replacing the other ⅔ with a lighter option

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