I make a lot of pannacotta at home when I’m asked to make or bring dessert… it’s just fool proof, easy to transport, and can take on any flavor combinations you can think of. It’s light, not at all time consuming, and everybody likes it. I prefer to use sheet gelatine, as it’s of much higher quality (and lends a better texture) but grocers usually just carry the powdered version. Follow the package instructions, but note that since you’re adding chocolate here – it will be a little more firm, therefore you can add slightly less gelatine if you wish. The powdered gelatine instructions will set liquid to a slightly firmer state than I usually make my pannacotta, but if you’re going to unmold it and cut it into cubed portions as I’ve done here – the extra firmness is actually alright, as it makes it easier to handle and cut. The addition of the salted cookie crumb for crunch factor, and a bit of fruit, is the easiest dessert you’ll probably ever make. I swear.
Chocolate Orange Pannacotta with Cookie Crumb & Marmalade: yields 8 portions
1 L whipping cream
6 sheets gelatine, bloomed (or enough powdered to set 4 cups)
100 g brown sugar
80 g dark chocolate
1 orange, just the zest
-In a medium sized pot bring 1/2 the cream to a simmer, add the sugar and zest, steep for 10 mins. Warm the cream back up and add the chocolate, stirring to dissolve. If the chocolate doesn’t dissolve fully : remove the zest, place the liquid in a blender and give a few quick pulses. Don’t over blend and create a bunch of froth. Avoid froth!
-Once chocolate is dissolved in the cream nicely, bloom your gelatine in cold water, dissolve in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, and stir into the warm cream mixture.
-Add the cold cream to the chocolate cream, stir with a spatula until combined. Pour into a large glass or tupperware container, or into individual ramekins if you prefer, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until completely set.
The Cookie Crumb:
250 g butter, soft
250 g brown sugar
350 g all purpose flour
50 g cocoa powder
2-3 pinches sea salt
-Preheat your oven to 375 F.
-Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, paddle until smooth.
-Add the dry ingredients and paddle just until the mixture becomes crumbly. Don’t over mix, the mixture will eventually become a solid dough. Avoid solid dough!
-Spread the crumbs on a prepared baking sheet, and bake until crisp and crumbly, being sure to stir with a spoon every 10 minutes or so. Mine took about 20-25 minutes, but time will vary depending on how much your crumb is spread out, the exact temp of your oven, and whether or not you have a baking stone like I do.
-To test the crumb to see if it’s done : remove a spoonful from the pan and place it on a plate at room temperature, allow to rest 2-3 minutes. If the crumb becomes crunchy once it’s cooled – it’s done!
-Cool all cookie crumb to room temperature.
The Marmalade: recipe HERE
To Plate Up:
-If you’ve poured the pannacotta into a container to set, flip it upside down and run hot water over it for a few moments to begin loosening it from the container. Place your fingers around the edge of the dessert inside the container, and simultaneously push down slightly where the pannacotta meets the container, and pull away from the container wall. You want to loosen it from the edges of the glass/tupperware.
-Again run hot water over the container from the outside for a few moments, then one more time push down the edges of the pannacotta with your fingers and pull it gently away from the sides of the container. Eventually you’ll be able to see it start to come loose from the container (using clear tupperware or glass makes it easier to see!). Be sure to pull slowly to allow the pannacotta to come loose without tearing.
-Once it lets go from the vessel plop it out onto a cutting board or large plate, and cut into desired portions.
-Top with the room temperature cookie crumb, a few spoons of marmalade, or whatever other fruits you desire. A tangy berry compote with a few squirts of lime is what I originally served this pannacotta with.