Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert that has delicate texture with a delicious rich and creamy flavor. When you want to impress your guests, this smooth custard-like gourmet dessert is it!
The best part is you don't have to tell them just how easy it was to make this simple recipe!!
Panna Cotta Recipe
This raspberry panna cotta recipe, really is a special gourmet looking dessert that is a fun to serve show stopper for holidays.
I love this panna cotta recipe with berries, I mean don't you just want to grab that spoon!! The raspberry sauce not only looks amazing but is a such perfect pairing with the vanilla in this light and fresh tasting dessert.
It is an easy dessert to customize your way using different toppings like fresh fruit or strawberry sauce and with many flavors like chocolate or lemon.
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna cotta which in Italian means 'cooked cream' is made by simmering cream, milk, and sugar with a gelatine and often with a vanilla flavoring to create a smooth silky custard dessert.
Panna cotta vs flan
While similar, flan originates from Spain and uses eggs instead of a gelatine to firm up its creamy custard-like texture. Flan also has a slightly firmer texture than the more delicate panna cotta.
Working with the gelatine to chill in the fridge is a breeze and you can try different panna cotta molds that are used to shape for different fun serving presentations.
Delight your guests with this exquisite perfect make ahead panna cotta recipe for Christmas dessert. Sit back taking in their joyful reactions followed by the blissful silence as they savour every creamy gourmet spoonful!!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy vanilla panna cotta recipe
- Perfect make ahead holiday dessert
- Sure to impress any guests
- Easy to customize Italian gourmet dessert
Panna cotta Ingredients
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract - pure vanilla provides the best flavor
- Raspberries - fresh
We used fresh raspberries in this panna cotta recipe but frozen raspberries can be used in place of fresh raspberries.
Step by step instructions for how to make panna cotta
STEP ONE - Add water to a shallow bowl, sprinkle gelatin evenly over water to hydrate, set aside.
STEP TWO - In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, warm milk and sugar, whisking occasionally until sugar is dissolved and reaches a temperature of 140 degrees.
STEP THREE - Remove pan from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture, making sure to remove all the gelatin from the bowl. Return pan to heat and cook until gelatin is dissolved, 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly.
STEP FOUR - Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream, vanilla extract, and salt until thoroughly combined.
STEP FIVE - Pour mixture into a 4-cup measuring cup or a container with a spout. Divide the mixture evenly between 6- 4-ounce ramakins or small glasses. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
STEP SIX - To make the raspberry sauce, add raspberries to a medium sized saucepan and place over medium heat. While berries heat, mash with a potato masher or a whisk. Let berries heat for about 5 minutes, or until they have released their juices.
STEP SEVEN - Strain raspberries through a mesh strainer to remove seeds, and rinse pan to remove any seeds. Return the strained raspberry juice to the pan along with the ⅓ cup of sugar, whisk until combined.
STEP EIGHT - Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, once mixture begins to boil, reduce to medium and cook mixture until reduce slightly and becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and pour mixture into a bowl, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, should make 1 to 1 ½ cups of sauce.
STEP NINE - SERVE & ENJOY!
HOW TO SERVE PANNA COTTA
To invert panna cotta onto a serving plate, run a thin knife along the top edge of the ramekin to loosen, only loosening about ⅛ inch deep. Place ramakin in a bowl filled with warm water measuring about ¾ up the side of the ramekin. Allow ramekin to sit in water for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove ramekin from water, dry with a towel to remove excess water, place plate inverted centered on the top of the ramekin, hold plate tightly to the ramekin quickly turn. Gently tap ramekin to encourage the panna cotta to release. Gently lift the ramekin leaving the formed panna cotta on the plate. Garnish with 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry sauce.
If using glasses, garnish with raspberry sauce and enjoy.
They are many different flavors to try when making panna cotta instead of the traditional vanilla flavor. You can make it with chocolate flavor, coconut flavor, citrus flavors like lemon, coffee and pumpkin.
Best toppings for panna cotta
Panna cotta can be topped with many different toppings:
- Strawberry sauce or ice cream topping
- Blueberry sauce
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
- Lemon Curd
- Chocolate shavings
- Whipped cream
- Any fresh fruit like mango, passion fruit, strawberries or peaches
- Mint leaf - for garnish
Top tips for making the best panna cotta recipe
- Panna cotta can be made in almost any type of glass or ramekin
- The easiest method is to avoid unmolding the panna cotta, and use a small glass and top with sauce, it makes for a pretty presentation
- Be careful not to bring the mixture to a boil, this can prevent panna cotta from setting properly
- If gelatin doesn’t dissolve well in the milk mixture, pour through a fine mesh strainer before pouring in glass/ramekin
- In case the panna cotta will not release from ramekin, return to warm water another minute then repeat process
How many days can I make this ahead of time?
Panna cotta can be made and stored in the fridge up to 2 days in advance before serving for the best results.
How long does panna cotta last?
Leftovers can be covered with tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days.