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So I came home from the gym last night, and remembered that my great friend and neighbor, had given me some whole milk that she didn’t want as she doesn’t drink a whole lot of milk. So what to do with it I thought. I know! I’ll make espresso panna cotta, I thought to my self. I had just a bit of double cream (heavy cream) left in the fridge, and also, just enough whole milk left over too, and I still had some left over espresso from the mornings requisite café con leché. So what better impromptu dessert than this delightful Italian treat, with some dark chocolate shavings (60% cocoa). It’s simple and fast and honestly takes no time to make or put together. The only wait time is allowing the  panna cotta to set up in the refrigerator over night. Well it can be done in less time, but it was pretty late after all (maybe 12 AM), and it’s not like I was going anywhere but to bed and sleep. So what an amazing dessert for dinner the next day or an after lunch treat. Either way, it was going to be great and it was! Here’s how I made it.


2 cups of whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream)

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 package of gelatin (clear) or 2 gelatin sheets

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup espresso or 1 1/2 tsp of instant coffee


If you are using espresso coffee, remember that the liquid in the espresso will make up a bit more of the liquid, so you can reduce the amount of espresso by 1/4 cup. So instead use 1 3/4 cups of milk. If you are using the instant coffee, then use the complete 2 cups of milk and or cream combo. In a sauce pot bring the milk to a scald or simmer, along with the sugar and the espresso. Add the gelatin by first dissolving in a bit of hot water in a small bowl. (Dissolve the gelatin in 4 table spoons of hot water). Add to the hot milk and stir to combine.  Add the vanilla extract and combine. Ladle the panna cotta, into 4 – 4 oz ramekins using a ladle or small pitcher with a pouring spout. Allow to cool before placing into the refrigerator for a few minutes, as hot liquids will cause your refrigerator temperature to drop. Allow to set in the fridge for up to 6 hours or over night. You can shave some of your favorite chocolate as I have done here with a vegetable peeler, over the tops of the panna cotta, and allow the chocolate shavings to spread for a dramatic effect. Enjoy!