Panna Cotta


Panna cotta is a dairy based dessert created by the Italians. The term Panna Cotta Refers to Cooked Cream. There are many methods to make this dessert, however this one is by far the most simple, yet the most delicious I have come across.

Panna cotta uses a setting agent such as gelatine to allow it to stiffen and then to be unmoulded. However it works equally as well served in a jar or dessert bowl.

It is a great summer dessert as its light and creamy yet not rich. I love playing with this dessert as the possibilities are endless. I’ve made it in many different flavours as well as added a multitude of different toppings and sauces. The base of this dessert is made with sugar, cream and gelatine. However if you’re in a country that produces half and half, go ahead and use the full 400ml of that instead.

Recipe (via ICCA)


  • 400 ml fresh cream
  • 70 g sugar
  • Vanilla pod (or any other flavouring agent)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (or any other flavouring agent)
  • 1 ½ sheet of gelatine (3g sheet)


  1. Bloom your gelatine sheets by placing them in cold water , set aside
  2. Cut into your vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds
  3. In a saucepan boil together the cream and vanilla ( membrane and the pod)
  4. Remove from the heat and squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add it to the mixture
  5. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved
  6. Strain the mixture and pour into moulds or serving dishes and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until set
  7. If you’re unmoulding swiftly dip the mould into hot water so it loosens the bottom of the Panna cotta and turn it over into your serving plate.

Top with anything you like! I’ve used a pomegranate jelly combined with succulent pomegranate rubies. You can drizzle over a beautiful coulis or make a summery mango and coriander salsa to serve with it.

N.B if your Panna cotta forms 2 layers don’t worry too much about it. The problem is that in most parts of the world including South Africa we don’t get half and half, and sometimes the combination of the milk and cream doesn’t give a homogenous mixture. The fat within the cream does what fat should and starts to rise above the lighter milk part of the mixture. However this shouldn’t affect the taste of your dessert or interfere with the experience of the dessert as a whole.

If you’re unable to get your hands on some gelatine leaves you could substitute it with powdered gelatine, however you would need to follow the instructions on the packaging. For e.g. certain powdered gelatines measured at 2 ½ teaspoons would set 2 cups of liquid. The amount of gelatine you use is dependent on the strength of that specific gelatine.

If you have used any of the recipes on this site, id love to see how your creations turn out. tag me in your Instagram pictures @rsrcreations .




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