Sometimes we just don’t want to fuss too much with desserts, and panna cotta says, “That’s okay. I’m gonna make this easy on you.” – only in Italian, because that’s the language of its deliciousness.
If you’ve never had panna cotta, you’ve been missing out. But don’t freak out! I had never tried it until a couple of weeks ago. So I had been missing out as well!
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna cotta is an Italian custard, lightly set with gelatin in some kind of a mold or ramekin. Then when ready to serve you dip the bottom of the pan into warm water to loosen it, flip it onto a plate, and it’ll hold its shape and look pretty, but have some melty softness to it. You can then garnish it with fruit puree, or do like I did and sprinkle with cinnamon or toasted ground pecans. The world is your oyster-er-gelatin mold?
I explained to my boyfriend that it was like a “soft, lightly sweetened milk jello”, (I know, not my best) to which he then replied, “Why don’t you just drink the milk?”
“How dare you?!“, I exclaimed.
To be fair, he’s not a foodie nor does he care about the idea of serving up sweet milk in a gelatin form just for texture and aesthetic purposes. We’ll give him a pass.
It’s super simple but it does take some patience to let it set in the fridge. Just like jello or pudding, it needs time to chill – and I’m sure you do, too.
Keto or Low Carb?
If you’re going for keto or low carb, this recipe is right up your alley. You can use heavy whipping cream, coconut milk/cream, or nut milk, and for the sweetener you’ve got your choice of erythritol, xylitol, or stevia. Feel free to mix heavy cream and coconut cream together as well. It’s what I like to do.
If you’re not with the low-carb lifestyle and want to make this, well I’m not leaving you out. Just sub sugar or any sweetener you’d like and use milk or any other type of cream.
This is basically just sweetened milk, so use whichever extracts or toppings you’d like to make it unique to your preferences.
More tips for this recipe in the NOTES section below.
Super Easy Panna Cotta
- 1 cup any type of cream or milk you prefer – you can even mix and match
- 3 Tbsp erythritol more or less to your preference
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 2 Tbs water
- To a saucepan add cream and sweetener. Heat on medium-low.
- In a small bowl add the water and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface to bloom.
- Let the gelatin sit while you heat up the saucepan.
- Stir the milk frequently until it comes to a simmer, or the milk starts to look frothy and steamy (if you want to get technical, around 195°F) – Don’t Boil It!
- Take the pan off the heat and leave it to sit and cool down for about 15 minutes, while coming back to stir it occasionally.. Microwave the gelatin mixture for about 10 seconds – it doesn’t need long. (If you don’t have a microwave you can just toss it into the milk, but just be sure to stir very thoroughly, for about 2 minutes)
- Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Pour into ramekins or molds and chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Dip the bottom of the ramekin into warm water, making sure that water doesn’t overflow into the dessert.
- After about 35-45 seconds, put a plate upside down on top and flip it over quickly. It should release. If not, dip it for a few more seconds and try again. Garnish with your choice of toppings.