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If you’ve never tried panna cotta, you are in for a very pleasant surprise! Panna cotta is similar to pudding or custard. The dessert originated in Italy and its name translates to “cooked cream.” It’s quickly become a family favorite in our house and while it takes a while to set in the refrigerator, I’m sure that you’ll find with that first bite, that it’s worth the wait! This caramel and chocolate panna cotta marries two of our favorite flavors into an individually served dessert that is perfect for family dinners!
A couple of things to keep in mind when you are making this caramel and chocolate panna cotta. Keep an eye on your cream when it’s on the stove. It only takes a second for it to go from simmer to boiling over and you don’t want that mess! As soon as you see it bubbling around the edges, you can remove it from the heat or turn down the heat.
While this recipe would typically ask you to make your own caramel, I like to find and share shortcuts because I’m a Mom of three who works full time and I know that most of us don’t really have the time to do things completely from scratch, all the time. So instead of making the caramel from scratch, I use caramel bits. You can also purchase individually wrapped caramel, but those will take a bit more time to unwrap and melt.
I think that you’ll find that this caramel and chocolate panna cotta is perfect on it’s own, but you may want to put a little topping on it for added texture or just to make it look fancier. I used whipped cream and chopped peanuts. Just throw some dry roasted peanuts in the food processor and it gives the dish a little crunch!
You can also make a little extra caramel sauce and put some full dry roasted peanuts in it, and top your caramel and chocolate panna cotta with those. I did that in the last batch and my husband said it reminded him of the peanuts in Cracker Jacks! He loved the added crunch as well!
I’ve tried to show the steps in photos above for you, to make it a bit easier.
Step 1: Chocolate chips in a bowl
Step 2: Heated heavy cream on top of chocolate chips
Step 3: Combined heavy cream and chocolate chips to form ganache
Step 4: Ganache separated into 8 dishes
Step 5: Heavy cream and caramel bits
Step 6: Combined heavy cream and caramel bits to form caramel sauce
Step 7: Milk and Great Lakes Gelatin
Step 8: Combined milk and Great Lakes Gelatin
Step 9: Heated cream and milk
Step 10: Combined heated cream and milk with gelatin mixture
Step 11: Combined heated cream, milk with gelatin and caramel sauce
Step 12: Panna cotta mixture separated into 8 dishes, on top of ganache
Why Great Lakes Gelatin?
My secret weapon when making my caramel and chocolate panna cotta is Great Lakes Gelatin pork gelatin. Their premium gelatin is made of ONE simple ingredient and provides you with exceptional cooking functionality at a fair price. It will dissolve in hot liquids and will thicken upon cooling. It’s unflavored, colorless and odorless.
Great Lakes Gelatin is a versatile cooking ingredient that is used in many thickening and gelling cooking applications from gelatin desserts to puddings and sauces. It comes in either pork gelatin or beef gelatin. You can even make gummies with it! I’m looking forward to using it for the sauces and gravy for our holiday dinners!
Now that you know a little bit about the dish, I’m excited to share our recipe for caramel and chocolate panna cotta.
Caramel and Chocolate Panna CottaPrint
This caramel and chocolate panna cotta is heaven. Caramel panna cotta on top of a layer of chocolate ganache. It’s the perfect dessert for any gathering.
- Boil heavy cream in a sauce pan on medium high heat.
- Place the chocolate chips in a bowl and pour the heated heavy cream on top.
- Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Pour evenly into 8 small dishes or ramekins.
- Put in fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Boil heavy cream and caramel bits in a sauce pain on medium high heat. Stir until the caramel is completely melted.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Pour 3/4 cup of milk into a large bowl and add Great Lakes Gelatin Co. gelatin. Stir until combined and set aside.
- Heat remaining milk and heavy cream in saucepan over medium high heat until it starts to bubble.
- Pour heated milk and cream mixture over the gelatin and milk mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour caramel sauce into the bowl, whisking as you pour, until completely combined.
- Remove the dishes from the refrigerator and evenly distribute the caramel sauce mixture on top of the ganache, in all eight dishes.
- Return to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- Top with whipped cream and crushed peanuts.
If you try our version of the Caramel and Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to check out all of our family friendly recipes!
*This post is sponsored by Great Lakes Gelatin. All opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links. This means if you click on any of them and make a purchase, our family may receive a small commission. As always, we appreciate your support!