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Panna Cotta

HG Cooks

Panna Cotta

Recipe by Old World Italian

When's the last time you had panna cotta? In her latest cookbook, Old World Italian, Mimi Thorisson brings this classic Italian recipe to life. Smooth, silky and a little bit jiggly, this traditional Italian dessert made by millions of nonnas and chefs over the years is timeless, understated and easy to make. Served in a low bowl, dessert cup, or even a glass, it can be dressed with a fruit coulis, cocoa powder or a traditional caramel sauce. Molto elegante.

Serves 4


  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 1 ⅔ cups whipping cream

  • ⅓ cup  sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • 2 gelatin leaves, softened in cold water and drained

  • Fresh fruit coulis, or chocolate or caramel sauce, for serving (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream and sugar. Scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the pod, too. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, being careful not to let the milk boil, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

  • Once cooled, remove the pod and give the mixture a good stir to evenly distribute the vanilla seeds. Divide the mixture among four 4-ounce ramekins (3 1/2-inch/9 cm diameter, 1 1/2-inches/4 cm deep). Transfer to the refrigerator and let set for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • To serve, dip the bottom of the ramekins in a bowl of warm water for a few seconds to loosen. Flip and unmould onto a plate. If desired, serve with a fresh fruit coulis or chocolate or caramel sauce.


Tips: f you can’t find gelatin sheets, use 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin, which should first be dissolved: Place 2 tablespoons boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over it and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Stir into the milk mixture at the end of step 1, as directed.

HG Cooking Essentials