When it comes to desserts, I prefer something light as I really am not a dessert person. If we are dining out and I do decide to splurge and order dessert it will be because they have either Creme Brulee or Panna Cotta on the menu. When we are entertaining at home, I always like to finish the meal with something sweet, and again, I often choose panna cotta to serve as it can be prepared ahead of time and is not at all heavy.
Translated as “cooked cream”, panna cotta is a creamy, yet light pudding type of dessert that is thickened with gelatin. You can create almost any flavor of panna cotta and it can be as simple as a basic Vanilla Panna Cotta With Berries, or a combination of two flavors like my Chocolate Panna Cotta With Espresso Cream.
Traditionally, panna cotta is prepared in small ramekins or cups and is then un-molded onto a plate and topped with a sauce or fruit. I prefer however to use small clear glasses and serve the pudding right in the glass. This way you can layer the pudding creating a very attractive presentation.
Because I love panna cotta so much, one of my goals for 2014 was to create a new version of panna cotta each month and then share the recipe on the blog. Although I did make this recent version in January, here it is almost the middle of February and I am just getting around to posting the recipe! Oh well, it is a really tasty recipe and I am excited to share it with you.
For this panna cotta I decided to go with chocolate as my primary flavor, and then decided to create a layer of amaretto panna cotta as well. I honestly was planning on getting fancy and placing the amaretto layer in the center with a chocolate layer on both the top and the bottom, but I had too much to do the day I was making it and in the end simplified the recipe.
Do feel free to create the three layers if you prefer. Simply refrigerate after pouring each layer and waiting to add another layer (usually an hour or hour and a half) until a skin forms on the lower layer preventing the layers from mixing. Chocolate and amaretto are always a great combination, and work really well together in this dessert as well. Choose any clear glasses that you prefer.
Champagne flutes to juice tumblers will all work well. I ended up with a little amaretto mixture leftover so I simply made two additional puddings to enjoy later, but it will depend on the glasses you choose and the size of layers you create. I used 6 ounce juice glasses and you can see in the photos I left some room in each. I also prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate but that is my personal preference. Fell free to use the type of chocolate you prefer.
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Unflavored Gelatin
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Baking Chips
- 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 2 Teaspoons Unflavored Gelatin
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Amaretto Liqueur
- Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Shavings
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside.
- For the chocolate layer, heat the cream, milk, and sugar over medium heat until the mixture almost but does not quite come to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the softened gelatin, then the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
- Whisk in the sour cream until blended, then pour the mixture into 8 small clear glasses and refrigerate for 90 minutes, reserving about a half cup of the chocolate mixture to use later.
- For the Amaretto layer, sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in a small bowl and let soften for 5 minutes.
- In a small pot, heat the heavy cream and sugar until almost boiling, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the softened gelatin, the Amaretto liqueur, and the reserved chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Pour this mixture over the refrigerated chocolate panna cotta creating a layer of an inch or two, then refrigerate again for at least 6 hours.
- To serve, add a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, then serve immediately.