Coffee Panna Cotta

I visited Italy last summer with my family for 2 weeks. We started up in Milan, and actually rented a car, driving all the way down to the coast, Cinque Terre (literally looks like all the pictures you see on tumblr and everywhere else), and then up to various other cities including Rome, Florence, and Venice.

One of the most memorable things that everyone whose been to Italy can agree on is the FOOD. Italy’s food makes me wanna cry because everything is AMAZING – from walnut and honey gelato, to salmon filled ravioli, to creamy mushroom risotto, finally eating REAL pizza (nothing like fast food pizza at all btw, where did thick crust even come from lol) 

Even though I’m a fan of tiramisu, especially made by one of my mom’s friends, tiramisu in Italy is traditionally made with some sort of alcohol or rum, which sucks for people like me because we definitely ain’t getting near the tiramisu if it has any of dat (MUSLIMS – yall understand the struggle). So basically, in Italy I was deprived of ever trying the real authentic tiramisu – cool wit me though cause I like brown aunty tiramisu made w/ lady finger cookies :))


One dessert I made for the brunch I mentioned in my last post was this coffee panna cotta, a rich, creamy, luscious, Italian dessert, which Italians sometimes throw alcohol into as well – for what purpose, not sure. But who am I to say – maybe this dessert with alcohol actually tastes 100x better than without. I’ll never know. That thought aside, this coffee panna cotta will leave you and any guests, if you don’t end up eating it all yourself, feeling satisfied and yearning for just one more bite – “one” bite that turns into 10 more. The only thing that stops me from eating more than one bowl of this dessert is that it’s made completely of heavy cream. Italians really know how to keep up their dessert game.


Panna cotta is a lot easier than the name suggests – so in no time you’ll have an Italian dessert with a fancy name!

Side note: Follow me on instagram! @aestheticgourmet or click on the lil green icon thx

Until next post,

xx Aiza

Coffee Panna Cotta

  • Servings: 8 custard cups, or one large Panna Cotta*
  • Print

Adapted from David Lebovitz


  • 4 cups (1 L) heavy cream (typically 36% to 40% fat content)
  • Very generous 1/2 cup sugar
  • Instant coffee or espresso, dissolved in hot water
  • 4 ½ teaspoons gelatin (2 packets)
  • 6 tablespoons cold water


  1. Start by sprinkling the gelatin over the cold water in a medium sized bowl, or a large dish* and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan, on low heat. As it’s heating, mix the coffee granules into hot water until dissolved. Start off with 1 heaping teaspoon dissolved. Stir this mixture into heavy cream and sugar mixture. If you want a stronger coffee taste after this, dissolved a teaspoon more of coffee into hot water and stir into the heavy cream and sugar mixture.
  3. Remove from heat. Lightly oil eight custard cups or ramekins, if using.
  4. Pour the warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  5. Divide the mixture into the cups, or leave mixture in large bowl if using that for serving instead. Chill the Panna Cotta until firm, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  6. To unmold from cups if using, run a sharp knife around the Panna Cotta, and invert into serving plates.
  7. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings, or any other toppings if desired.


*If you plan to make this for a crowd, like I did, let the gelatin stand in a large bowl or dish you want to serve it in, pour the panna cotta mixture into it instead of into small cups, and mix to dissolve the gelatin. Then all you gotta do is chill it – no pouring the mixture into other bowls necessary. Plus with this method you don’t have to invert afterwards :))))

*Alternatively, once you’ve mixed the panna cotta with the gelatin, you can pour the mixture into wine goblets or any other custard type cups, so you don’t have to unmold them.

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