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Vanilla Panna Cotta

Updated: 6/20/22 2:10 pmPublished: 6/20/22
By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 servings

Total Carbohydrates: 11 grams per serving (Note that 6 of these are from the erythritol, which will not raise your blood sugar)

Hands-on Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian, and it is so incredibly easy to make and so deliciously fancy that you’ll feel like you’ve performed a magic trick. It’s gently set with gelatin, and virtually any combination of dairy or nondairy will work here – plain yogurt, milk, cream, half and half, coconut milk, whatever you’ve got. However, if you reduce the fat to nothing you will definitely lose the velvety richness that makes this so wonderful. I like adding a little sour cream to recreate the vibe of a favorite old-fashioned dessert of mine called a Russian Cream, but you can skip it if you like.

If you’re looking to:

Lower the fat: Use 1 cup milk and ½ cup cream and skip the sour cream.

Lower the salt: Omit the salt

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cold water

1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin (half of a ¼-ounce envelope)

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup milk

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons granulated erythritol, such as Swerve (or an equivalent sweetener of your choice to replace 2 tablespoons sugar – you don’t need it for texture, just sweetness)

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup raspberries

Instructions

  1. Put the water in a small pot and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it sit a minute or two (this softens the gelatin), then put the pot over low heat and stir until the mixture looks transparent – around one minute. Scrape the gelatin mixture into a small bowl and set it aside.

  2. Put the cream, sour cream, milk, salt, and Swerve in the same pot (you don’t need to wash it first) and turn the heat to medium. Heat, stirring occasionally, until it just begins to simmer. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla and the gelatin mixture.

  3. Divide the mixture into four ramekins, tiny bowls, or teacups (I pour it back into the measuring cup to do this because it has a spout that lets me portion it into the ramekins without spilling it all over the place) and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to a couple of days (once they’re cool, you can lay a piece of wax paper over them).

  4. Top with the raspberries and serve. (Some recipes have you unmold them by running the bottoms of the ramekins under hot water, but this step feels so extraneous to me that I’m not even including it as an option.)

What do you think?

About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »