A few years ago I held a cooking class with my girlfriend, Deb. She shared this Espresso Panna Cotta with me and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s the best recipe I’ve found for a creamy light coffee treat that’s perfect for an any time snack or a dinner party.
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Back to Espresso Panna Cotta
This is one of my favorite dessert recipes to make in the summer because there’s no baking! With only 5 ingredients and a little time to let it set up, it’s the perfect recipe to highlight for this month’s Giveaway! (Plus, Jerry’s been begging me to make it! 😃)
How to Make Espresso Panna Cotta
You can makes this dessert up to 2 days before you’re ready to serve it up. But they need at least 4 hours to set up.
- Pour 1/2 cup of whole milk into a small saucepan and sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin over the top. Let this rest for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
- Stir over medium heat until it starts to steam and the gelatin is completely dissolved. DO NOT LET IT BOIL.
- Turn off the heat and add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, and 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Stir the cream mixture until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool until it’s only warm to the touch. Divide it evenly between 4 glasses.
- Cover and refrigerate until they are set, about 4-6 hours.
- Serve with a flourish of whip cream (like Redi Whip) and decorate with white chocolate and dark chocolate shavings.
Create a beautiful presentation
Putting it in a pretty martini glass makes an elegant presentation. And it’s sooooo easy!!! It’s a must if you’re having people over, because making it the day before allows all the flavors to come together.
The more you can do the day before a party, the better! Until the doorbell rings, I am literally running around the house like a crazy person.
It drives my husband nuts, but I have no idea how there are suddenly 73 things that have to be done right before our friends come over. Go figure.
Espresso Panna Cotta Variations
Panna cotta is one of the most versatile desserts I know. It’s very forgiving and it never disappoints!
- If dairy is an issue, no problem. Use coconut or almond milk in place of the milk and cream.
- Low carb option – Replace milk for heavy cream for a total of 2 cups heavy cream. Substitute 1/4 cup Truvia and 4 drops Stevia for sugar.
- Low fat option – Replace whole milk and heavy cream with 2 cups skim milk.
- Caffeine Free – Switch out instant espresso with either decaf espresso or 1/4 cup instant decaf coffee
- Mocha – Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and drizzle a little chocolate sauce on top before you serve it. 😋
If gluten is something you like to avoid, no big deal. It’s always gluten free.
If you don’t care for coffee, no worries! Replace the powdered espresso with 1 tablespoon vanilla or 1 teaspoon of your favorite extract.
If you try this recipe and create your own flavor creation, please let me know!
Top off this smooth creamy delight with a “whoooooosh” of Reddi-wip, some chocolate shavings, and voila. So good!
More Easy Desserts You’ll Fall in Love With
Espresso Panna Cotta
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup sugar or Truvia for lower carbs
- pinch of salt
- whip topping Reddi Whip
- 1 small white chocolate bar for garnish
- 1 small dark chocolate bar for garnish
- 4 pretty cups or glasses for serving
- small saucepan and whisk
- vegetable peeler
In the saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
Stir over medium heat until it steams. Do NOT let it boil.
Add cream, the espresso powder, sugar (Truvia), and salt. Lower heat and stir until sugar dissolves about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Pour cream mixture into serving glasses, cover, and refrigerate.
- Stir every 20 minutes for the first hour.
- Chill until set, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
Thank you for a wonderful dessert, Deb! This is Jerry's favorite! 🙂