Nothing beats a good panna cotta especially when its aroma is enhanced with quality spices and some good coffee like espresso. It's also a good flavor to go with the creaminess of the custard contained inside. If you have never made a Panna Cotta before, here's a rundown...

As mentioned above, panna cotta is a type of custard that's much easier to make in comparison to most types. This is because, unlike most versions, it isn't made with eggs, typically used to thicken the custard. Instead, the recipe relies on gelatin which can be made easily by dissolving in hot water.

As such, it's served cold in ramekins. For a more straight forward example, read this recipe.

Today, I'll be sharing a new recipe for an espresso panna cotta with grated chocolate. Don't worry about brewing high-quality coffee since it can also be made with just instant espresso. hence, it's a lot like the original recipe but with coffee thrown in.

The recipe

Panna Cotta Ingredients:

  • 3 gelatin sheets
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1 chocolate bar for garnishing

The directions

  1. In a small bowl, submerge the gelatin sheets in water and set aside.
  2. Pour out the heavy cream, milk, and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking the mixture as it cooks. Continue whisking until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  3. Remove the gelatin sheets from the bowl, wringing them to remove any water. Add the sheets, vanilla extract, and instant espresso to the saucepan and stir the mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Let the finished custard cool down slightly.
  4. Pour the custard into four ramekins (4-inch sized) and chill the ramekins in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight until the panna cotta sets.
  5. When the panna cotta sets, dip the ramekins into hot water for a few seconds, then invert each onto a plate to remove. Grate the chocolate bar over a plate and sprinkle the shavings over each ramekin.

Serves: 4


  • Coffee panna cotta - Substitute instant coffee for the instant espresso.
  • Served with chocolate sauce - Increase the chocolate amount to twice or more. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then stir in equal amounts of heavy cream to complete the chocolate sauce.
  • Served with whipped Cream - Whip two cups of heavy cream in a bowl over an ice bath until it forms soft peaks. Whip in two tablespoons of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of vanilla extract until the whipped cream forms stiff but not dry peaks. Substitute for the chocolate shavings.