Coffee Panna Cotta

Coffee Panna Cotta

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine March/April 2011

Panna cotta (“cooked cream” in Italian) is a silky-smooth dessert that works beautifully with the flavor of coffee. The sauce was inspired by café brûlot, the New Orleans classic coffee drink spiked with flamed brandy. Cooking for teetotalers? Use brandy extract in the panna ­cottas and omit brandy (and flambéing) from the sauce. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Panna Cotta
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee, divided
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, well chilled
  • Coffee-Brandy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brandy


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare panna cotta: Place 1/4 cup hot coffee in a small heatproof glass bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the coffee; stir to mix. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup coffee, yogurt, milk, 2 teaspoons brandy, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Microwave the coffee-gelatin mixture, uncovered, on High until the gelatin has completely dissolved but the liquid is not boiling, 20 to 40 seconds. (Alternatively, set the bowl in a small skillet of simmering water until the gelatin has dissolved completely.) Stir until smooth. Add granulated sugar and stir until dissolved.
  4. Slowly whisk the gelatin mixture into the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until it just begins to thicken, 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Beat the cream with a whisk or electric mixer until soft peaks form. Whisk into the yogurt mixture until smooth. Divide among six 4-ounce (1/2-cup) custard cups. Cover and refrigerate until the panna cotta is chilled and set, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
  6. To prepare sauce: Combine brown sugar and 3 tablespoons coffee in a small skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in 2 tablespoons brandy. Tilting the pan away from you, use a long-handled match (or grill lighter) to carefully ignite the liquid, gently shaking the pan until the flames subside. Let cool slightly.
  7. To serve: Run a knife around the cups to loosen the panna cotta. One at a time, set the cups in hot water for 30 to 40 seconds, then invert onto a serving plate, holding the cup and plate tightly together. If it doesn't unmold, carefully run the knife around the edge of the cup to loosen the panna cotta again, then invert onto the plate. Drizzle each panna cotta with a little of the sauce.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate panna cottas and sauce for up to 3 days. Heat the sauce for a few seconds before using.
  • Equipment: Six 4-ounce (1/2-cup) custard cups or ramekins, long-handled match or grill lighter

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 181 calories; 7 g fat(4 g sat); 0 g fiber; 23 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 7 mcg folate; 25 mg cholesterol; 23 g sugars; 19 g added sugars; 263 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 111 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 46 mg sodium; 162 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
  • Exchanges: 1/2 reduced-fat milk, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Reviews 2

November 28, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Not traditional Panna Cotta means cooked milk in Italian and it's one of the easiest recipes to make! First of all, it does need or require, or even want YOGURT! real espresso should be used too. Not that hard to do! Cons: not the real thing
April 17, 2011
profile image
By: dgendel
Error in instructions The flavor is good, but the instructions are wrong. The first time I made it was a disaster, but I tried again using a more standard method for working with gelatin and it was good. Let the coffee cool to room temp, then add the gelatin to all the coffee and let it sit for 5 minutes. Bring that to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Then whisk that into the yogurt/milk mixture. Proceed with the recipe from there. You can also use agar-agar to make it vegetarian, but if you do whip the cream into it right away rather than waiting 30 minutes. I also omitted the cinnamon since I felt that overwhelmed the coffee flavor. Pros: Good Flavor Cons: Totally doesn't work