Creamy Panna Cotta


I finally made this Italian dessert that I’ve always wanted to try: panna cotta.  It’s a cold Italian custard that magically doesn’t have eggs – great for anyone but especially my egg-allergic husband.  It’s creamy, has the perfect amount of flavor, is fattening, and too delicious.  It’s self-limiting as it’s high in fat and very satisfying!  Don’t die without eating or making this yourself.  I warned you! 


Only buy your heavy cream if it has one ingredient.  Otherwise it’s an impostor for this recipe (or any recipe).


NOTE: Use only the highest quality ingredients for this dessert.  Do not use heavy cream that has any ingredient other than “heavy cream”.  It shouldn’t have any additives, preservatives, or carageenan etc.  DO NOT use any low fat or reduced fat ingredients.  This is not the time.  Only use full fat sour cream and unadulterated heavy cream.  No substitutes at all.  Follow the directions precisely and you will have an awesome dessert that you won’t believe.


  • 2 teaspoons gelatin sprinkled over 2 tablespoons room temperature water
  • 3 cups heavy cream (no substitutes)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (whole fat!)
  • Fresh berries, honey, or other toppings (optional)


  1. In a small bowl or ramekin: prinkle the gelatin in the room temp. water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to gel up.
  2. Heat the cream, sugar, and salt until it’s very warm and steam starts to come off of it.  Do not boil it!  
  3. Turn off the heat, add the gelatin, and mix it until it’s melted.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes.
  5. While stirring with one hand, slowly pour a cup of the warm cream into the sour cream.  Mix well.
  6. Continue slowly adding the warm cream to the sour cream mixture, a cup at a time, until you’re done.
  7. Add the vanilla and stir.
  8. Pour it into 6 small, un-greased custard cups.
  9. Cover each cup with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming.
  10. Refrigerate overnight (mandatory).
  11. I did not un-mold them, but to un-mold: run a sharp knife around the edge.  If necessary, dip the knife into hot water.

Tips: This can be served with honey, fruit syrups, or add a caramel cream.  I chose to go simple and just add fresh berries.


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