Panna cotta

Panna cotta light

You can make panna cotta light by mixing cream with milk. It’s still velvety sweet and refreshing, when served cold on a hot summer night.

I prefer panna cotta made by pure cream, but you can make a lighter version by mixing cream with milk. All it takes is a little more gelatin to make the dessert firm.  The taste is quite similar to the real thing, though may seem less like a custard and more like a pudding. Still, it is a nice dessert when served cold on a hot summer evening.

300 ml double cream
200 ml milk
80 g sugar
1 vanilla pod
5 gelatin leaves

Soak the gelatin in water.
Scrape out the vanilla seeds and rub them into a little sugar to prevent the seeds from clumping.
Boil cream and milk  with sugar, vanilla and vamilla pod for a few minutes.
Remove the vanilla pod for the cream and exces water from the gelatin.
Stir gelatin into the cream, while it’s still warm.
Pour the mixture into 4-6 ramekins and place them in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
Loosen the panna cotta from the ramekin by running a knife along the side and placing the bottom of the ramekin in boiling water for a few seconds. It’s easier if you use silicon cups.
Serve the panna cotta light with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or other fresh fruits.

Alternatives to panna cotta light

Bonet recipe – Cocoa, caramel and macaroon pudding

Orange custard recipe for desserts and cakes

Apple tiramisu

Panna cotta light

10 replies
  1. Adri
    Adri says:

    I’m with you. For years I used all cream or cream and 1/2 & 1/2. A few months ago I started using equal parts cream and whole milk (1 1/2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/4 cup sugar, plus flavorings). WOW!! What an improvement. The luscious texture remains, with the richness unchanged, but the panna cotta is more delicate, the flavor more nuanced. With the reduction in cream comes an astounding increase in taste. I had never realized to what a great degree the use of all cream mutes the flavor. I think that the fat in the cream literally coats the flavor molecules and one’s tongue. Did you find this to be the case?

    • admin
      admin says:

      I haven’t thought about it in such detail, but I suppose you are right: the fat may muffle the flavours. Still, I have a problem finding the exact right balance with the gelatin, as I really love the texture of the real thing.

  2. Mike Tommasi
    Mike Tommasi says:

    I use less milk, less sugar, less gelatin. I came to these proportions after some experiments (with live guests) to find what to my taste is a) not to sweet, b) not too firm and jelly-like yet holds together reliably.

    All this because I find most panna cotta is done too sweet, too rubbery-firm and has too much taste of boiled milk.

    For 6: 500g fresh cream, 150g fresh milk, 60g sugar, 3 sheets gelatin, vanilla pod.

    The other key point is that the cream should NEVER boil. You bring it up to 85 degrees C (best with a thermometer), and keep it around that temperature for 10-15 minutes while stirring slowly. Using UHT milk or cream will also impart a disagreable boiled taste, plus it will make your panna cotta hard to digest.

    One should be careful to use true fresh cream – many creams sold (for example “Fleurette”) are in fact milk derivatives with added industrial thickeners: check the ingredient list, if you see anything like carrageenan or gelatin, it is not cream.

    Panna cotta is also divine with broken marrons glacés, or just with caramel (pour a little caramelized sugar in the ramekin before the panna).


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