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How to Make Panna Cotta

This popular Italian dessert is striking and elegant yet very easy to make. Try it the next time you have dinner guests.


  • Step 1: Dissolve the gelatin Add the gelatin to the water in a small saucepan. Heat gently and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Then remove from heat.
  • TIP: Use more gelatin to get a firmer panna cotta.
  • Step 2: Boil the cream Bring the cream, half and half, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
  • Step 3: Add the vanilla and gelatin Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and gelatin mixture. Stir to combine.
  • TIP: For richer flavor, split half a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream before heating.
  • Step 4: Pour into molds Pour the mixture into custard cups or ramekins.
  • Step 5: Chill Chill until set, at least six hours or overnight.
  • Step 6: Unmold Dip each mold into hot water for a few seconds to loosen, and then invert your panna cotta onto a plate.
  • Step 7: Serve Serve with fresh berries, fruit sauce, or chocolate sauce.
  • FACT: Most pills contain gelatin either as a binding agent or a coating.

You Will Need

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • u2153 c. sugar
  • 1u00bd tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 small custard cups or ramekins
  • Fresh berries or fruit sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Additional gelatin (optional)
  • u00bd vanilla bean (optional)

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