This Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta is an absolutely PERFECT dessert for a dinner party. First off, it’s really delicious and paired with this salted caramel peanut butter ice-cream (recipe soon to come), the whole thing tastes like a Snickers bar only in lush dessert form! It is also light enough to have after two other courses. I feel it is fancy enough to impress even your snobbiest friends and, best of all, it can be made in advance! Whenever you’re hosting a dinner party for any number of people, planning is really important and planning to make as much as you can ahead of time is essential! For Christmas dinner, I’ve sometimes laid the table on Christmas Eve! This milk chocolate panna cotta , like all panna cottas, needs a few hours to set in the fridge and overnight is perfect too so you can make them entirely a day before serving. I often make more than I need so we eat the rest 2 days after I make them and they’re still delicious. All you have to do before serving is sit the ramekins, one at a time in a pot of hot water for about 30 seconds then invert them onto their dessert plates.
Milk chocolate, in my opinion, isn’t used enough in desserts. Dark chocolate is used more as it’s easier to cook with and the bitterness is often diluted, in this case with milk and cream, giving it a more milk chocolatey taste, but I think that desserts with dark chocolate are often just too heavy and lead me to be uncomfortably full after a meal.
Sadly for some, this dessert is not vegetarian. I used the cursed gelatine to get the perfect wobble on the inverted panna cottas but vegetarian alternatives are becoming more and more common. I have just never used them and therefore couldn’t suggest brands or quantities. Usually they will tell you how much you will need per Litre of mixture.
- 500ml cream
- 250ml milk
- 250g milk chocolate
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 sheets of gelatine
- Break up the chocolate and add it to a saucepan along with the cream, milk, salt, sugar and vanilla extract and gently heat and whisk until all the chocolate has melted completely, about 10 minutes.
- Then add the gelatine to a small bowl of water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- While that is steeping, take the chocolate cream mixture off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- After 5 minutes, take out the gelatine and squeeze them to ring out all excess water. Add them to the chocolate cream and whisk in to dissolve.
- Now pour the mixture into ramekins. this is easier to do if you first pour it into a jug.
- Once the ramekins are filled, allow them to cool completely, cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up or overnight.
- To serve, add an inch of boiling water to a small saucepan, remove the cling from the first ramekin and gently sit it in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Then place an upside down plate on top of the ramekin and quickly invert the plate and ramekin together. You might need to give the ramekin a little shake before you feel the panna cotta releasing from it. If the panna cotta doesn't release from the ramekin then sit it in the boiling water for another 15 seconds or so. As the water cools you might need to sit the remaining ramekins in there for longer.