Traditional Italian Panna Cotta  (cooked cream )

How to make panna cotta/ How to cook perfect panna cotta at home.

Saffron panna cotta with strawberry and chocolate.

 Panna Cotta is a  spoon dessert of our Italian gastronomic tradition. Simple, as simple are the ingredients that compose it. It is made of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin. The name panna cotta is not mentioned in Italian cookbooks before the 1960s.

Yellow and White panna cotta.

Some argue that it was born in the Langhe at the beginning of 1900. Others, that it is derived from a Sicilian sweet, the “BiancoMangiare”, which originated from the Arab domination and that once landed in northern Italy, replaced the almond milk with cow’s milk. In the book “Il  CuocoPiemontese” we find a very similar recipe already at the beginning of the eighteenth century, this dessert was called “crema bianca al naturale” and they used some flour as a thickener. Let’s not forget about similar recipes also in English and French cuisine.

Nowadays the Piedmont Region includes panna cotta in its 2001 list of traditional food products of the region. Its recipe includes cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, gelatin, rum, and marsala poured into a mold with caramel.

Start the preparation

Panna Cotta  recipe  Vanilla Bean panna cotta /Italian Panna Cotta recipe 

  • 250 g whipping cream/thickened cream (>=30% fat)
  • 40 g icing sugar /confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar/10X sugar
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1  and a half sheet isinglass(gelatine)   or 1,5 gr. Agar agar  powder
  • ½ vanilla  bean pod
Preparation with isinglass

Place the cream, icing sugar /confectionary’s sugar/powdered sugar and vanilla over a low heat. 

Mix until the icing sugar dissolves (don’t let the mixture boil). 

Soften the gelatine in room temperature milk and then add it to the warm  cream mixture, which you have removed from the heat. 

Pour the cream in the little moulds or glasses

Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

ready to eat

 It’s possible  to flavour the cream with saffron .Add powdered saffron to the cream after having added the gelatin.

vanilla panna cotta with blue berries sauce

Serve with melted chocolate ,fruit sauce (strawberry, raspberry or grapes) or  liqueur (limoncello or nocino)

Panna Cotta with melted dark chocolate !