Sunday, February 27, 2011

Panna Cotta...The Fancy Lady's Dessert

The 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Have you tried Panna Cotta before?

Not only had I never tried Panna Cotta prior to this month's Daring Baker's Challenge, but I wasn't even sure what it was. To be honest, I always assumed it was somehow related to Pannetone.

Unlike the massive culinary flop I produced for last month's Daring Bakers' Challenge, this cooking adventure went much smoother. And, I discovered that I love Panna Cotta. It reminds me of a smooth, honey-infused ice cream, which makes perfect sense since the Italian translation is literally "cooked cream."

I boiled my favorite aspects of this dessert down to three simple points:

1) It's super easy: With only 6 main ingredients, plus fruit for garnish, this recipe was a snap to make.

2) It's ridiculously elegant: Nothing says fancy-schmancy like dessert served in a wine glass.

3) It tastes fabulous: We all know I'm an ice cream fanatic, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Panna Cotta tastes like the sister food of my favorite cold, creamy treat.

The cookies were a fun addition to this recipe, and really round out the presentation nicely, although they were pretty butter-intense (but hey, what's a little butter between friends?)

Eat up, dear friends! Now you have something new to share at your next dinner party :)

Panna Cotta with Nestle Florentine Cookies

This dessert would fit perfectly at the end of an elegant dinner party, or a summer cook-out on your back porch.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • For garnish: strawberries and Nestle Florentine Cookies

1) Pour cold milk into a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin in a thin, even layer on top of the milk and set aside for about 5 - 10 minutes.

2) Pour milk into a saucepan and heat gently on medium heat for about 5 minutes--the mixture should be hot but NOT boiling. Add the cream, honey, vanilla and sugar and continue heating and stirring for about 5 - 10 minutes until the sugar and honey have completely dissolved and the mixture is hot (but NOT boiling). Remove from heat.

3) Pour the mixture into wine glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Garnish with strawberries if desired, and Florentine Cookies.


  1. I find that if you dump any dessert into a wine glass, it glamorizes the pants off of it.

    I definitely thought there was more to Panna Cotta than that (read: SUPER overwhelming). This seems totally manageable.

  2. That panna cotta does look super elegant- I'll have to try some. It sounds delicious!

  3. Like you, I'm a panna cotta virgin! But after reading your post, I need to change that...ASAP! Thanks for sharing, my dear! May your week burst forth with love, good food and peace!

  4. I have never made panna cotta, but it looks and sounds super/uber decadent.

  5. I had also never had panna cotta before this challenge, but was aware of it. Yours looks and sounds great! I love the strawberry on top. :) Mine wasn't so successful, so I'll just have to keep trying! Curious as to what next month will bring...

  6. Just the name sounds elegant! Looks wonderful!

  7. I've never had panna cotta before :( I saw Ina Garten make it once, and when I saw you needed a special panna cota dish, I got overwhelmed and gave up!

  8. I have totally never had this OR seen it on a dessert menu. Does that mean I am not elegant? ;) It looks and sounds wonderful though!

  9. I love and agree totally with your three points and yes panna cotta is so so so tasty and the texture is superb and teamed with the Florentines are a great match great work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  10. Oh man~My mouth is watering as I type this haha! You're so talented girl!

  11. This looks wonderful! I had no idea there was such a short ingredient list for panna cotta. Yum!

  12. I've heard of panna cotta but I've never tried it. Now that I know it tastes like ice cream, I really want to :)