I haven’t made it down to the Chocolate Bar for some of their amazing hot chocolate yet which is pretty inexcusable. They have the best hot chocolate I’ve had by far and I like how they offer a small size that is just enough, and not too much. Now don’t get hot chocolate and hot cocoa confused. Hot chocolate is made from melting chocolate and hot cocoa is made from using cocoa. To make up for this, I made a Chocolate and Coffee Panna Cotta.
Panna cotta, which literally means cooked cream, is native to northern Italy. It is a mixture of cream, sugar, milk and gelatin. It’s very similar to a custard but it doesn’t contain eggs. It can be altered to take on many flavors or a simple vanilla with a fruit sauce to dress it. It literally takes minutes to make and is sure to impress.
I first heard about this dessert when I was out on field research and we were discussing restaurants that have amazing desserts (while totally focused on our work 😉 ). Our team leader mentioned panna cotta and I certainly had never heard of it before. Ever since I’ve been wanting to try it out and just the other day, I decided to make it myself.
Chocolate and Coffee Panna Cotta (by Deborah Mele)
1 1/4 tsp gelatin*
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 tbs sugar
3 oz dark chocolate
1 1/4 tsp gelatin
1/2 c milk
1 c cream
1.5 tbs sugar
2 tsp instant coffee
Chocolate Layer: Soften the gelatin by mixing it in a bowl with the milk. Set aside and heat the cream on medium heat in sauce pan. Mix in the sugar and heat till simmering. With a whisk, melt in the chocolate and heat till the mixture is uniform. Take off heat and pour into tumblers to cool.
Coffee Layer: Soften the gelatin by mixing it in a bowl with the milk. Set aside and heat the cream on medium heat in sauce pan. Mix in the sugar and heat till simmering. Add in the coffee and mix till uniform. Taste and add in more coffee if needed. Take off heat.
Once the chocolate layer has set a little bit, carefully add the coffee layer on top to have two layers. Refrigerate till cold and set. Garnish with some whip cream and chocolate shavings or syrup.
*A note about gelatin: I know many people who don’t eat pork and that serves a problem with gelatin desserts. I use to be heartbroken over this and searched many avenues. A friend of mine found some gelatin that is not from a pork source and found at a Halal Food store. I picked up 3 boxes because I was so excited and it definitely works.
Oh, and btw, don’t ever get these…Not good at alllll: