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Adjust Servings:
500 ml double cream (33-36%)
100 ml whole milk
100 g sugar
10 g gelatin (better leaves)
1 vanilla bean
Classic Panna Cotta

Classic Panna Cotta

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegetarian
  • 480
  • Serves 6
  • Medium


  • 500 ml double cream (33-36%)

  • 100 ml whole milk

  • 100 g sugar

  • 10 g gelatin (better leaves)

  • 1 vanilla bean



Panna cotta literally translates from Italian as “cooked cream”. This traditional Italian dessert is served with various sauces in each and every Italian restaurant. It is purely divine. Panna cotta has a lot of advantages: it has a soft creamy vanilla flavor, it looks lovely and tastes great with various fruit sauces, and it is also a perfect dessert for hot and strong espresso. And it must be the easiest dessert to cook on Earth!

I suggest you make panna cotta using a classic recipe used by Italians themselves. And I will share with you some secrets which will help you make your panna cotta much more delicious than in any restaurant. Highly recommend!

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In a saucepan, add cream, milk and sugar.


With the tip of the knife, split vanilla bean down its length, scrape out seeds and cut each half crosswise (for it to be not too long).


Add seeds and pods to the saucepan. Mix well.


Place the saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Remove from heat as soon as you see bubbles appearing on the surface. Let it cool.


In a bowl with cold water, add gelatin leaves and let stand to soften (follow the instructions on the box, usually 5-10 min). If you use gelatin powder, pour enough water over gelatin to ensure it's completely covered and let it stand for 10 min to soften.


When cream has cooled a bit but is still warm enough (at least 70 degrees Celsius), strain it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth to discard bug seeds and the pods.


Squeeze excess water from each gelatin leaf. Add a leaf to cream and stir until completely dissolved. Repeat with another leaf until you dissolve all the leaves. If you use gelatin powder, add a spoonful of gelatin and mix until completely dissolved, and repeat until all the gelatin dissolved.


If you put warm panna cotta in the fridge, black vanilla seeds will settle on the bottom and milk and cream will be separated into layers. You will end up with a thin jelly-like layer on the bottom with vanilla seeds in it. It’s not a problem! You have probably noticed that panna cotta actually looks like this, even in restaurants. So if you don’t have much time, this is a way out. Your panna cotta will later be spooned with sauce which will kind of conceal “the flaws”.

If you have time and a desire to make your panna cotta perfect with the vanilla seeds suspended throughout the dessert and without any transparent layers, check my secret here.


Some information about molds for panna cotta and some storage secrets you will find here.


Put the panna cotta in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or better overnight.

How to serve:

Serve drizzled with one of the various sauces. There are a whole lot of sauces for panna cotta. A classic one is strawberry sauce. You can serve the dessert drizzled with it or placed in strawberry sauce, i.e. pour the soup in a soup plate and place panna cotta in the center.

Garnish with baby peppermint leaves and berries.

Another option is to drizzle the dessert with lemon sauce and lemon liqueur (e.g. Limoncello) and garnish with lemon zest (like in the photo below).

How to keep:

Keep frozen up to 1 month or refrigerated up to 10 days.


Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry Sauce

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