The creamiest white chocolate & hazelnut panna cotta, served with a passion fruit coulis. Nutty, rich & chocolatey, this one’s simple and delicious!
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If you’ve ever had a Kinder Bueno, you’ll know that hazelnut & white chocolate is an unreal flavour combination. And turns out, it works incredibly well as a panna cotta!
For this recipe, we’re flavouring cream & milk with hazelnut paste, Madagascan vanilla & white chocolate before setting it with enough gelatine so that it just holds its’ shape. Served with a quick & easy passionfruit coulis, this is an impressive dessert with minimal prep time.
It’s creamy, it’s wobbly, it’s a belter!
What Is A Panna Cotta?
Translated from Italian, panna cotta means “cooked cream”.
A panna cotta is a classic Italian dessert consisting of sweetened cream that has been set with gelatine. Popular flavourings include vanilla, coffee, fruit & chocolate.
Traditionally panna cottas were made with just cream but in recent years, it has become increasingly popular to use a combination of milk & cream for a lighter dessert. A good panna cotta will be smooth & creamy and should be just set enough to hold it’s shape with a slight wobble.
For this recipe, we’re using a paste that contains as close to 100% hazelnuts as possible. This can be found online or you could make your own by blitzing roasted hazelnuts until smooth. I got the paste for this recipe from Sous Chef, who are based in the UK.
A good quality white chocolate is best for these panna cottas. Make sure to either use a bar or buttons. Chocolate chips don’t melt properly so aren’t suitable for this recipe.
A small amount of good quality vanilla goes a long way! I went for a teaspoon of vanilla paste for this recipe but half a vanilla pod would work as well.
We don’t want our panna cottas to set up too firmly so we’re only using 3 sheets to 600ml of liquid. Make sure to soak them for a good 5 minutes before squeezing as much water out of them as possible.
When soaking, if you add the sheets to water one at a time, they will soak better.
Cream & Milk
Make sure to use double/heavy cream & whole milk for this recipe as this is what gives the panna cottas a smooth, creamy texture. Replacing part of the cream with milk makes a lighter, softer dessert.
A panna cotta should have a delicate flavour, which is why we’re only using a small amount of sugar in this recipe. If you’d prefer a more caramelised flavour, replace the caster sugar with light brown.
You could serve these panna cottas with almost any fruit but I find that the sweetness of the passion fruit coulis helps cut through the richness of the dairy. The seeds add some crunch as well. Make sure to use ripe passion fruits otherwise they could taste slightly sour.
How To Make White Chocolate & Hazelnut Panna Cottas
Step 1 – Soak The Gelatine
First up, we need to soak the gelatine. To do this, fill a container with cold water then add in the gelatine sheets, one at a time. Making sure that they are completely submerged.
Leave the gelatine sheets to soak until soft. This will take at least 5 minutes.
Step 2 – Heat Up Milk & Cream
Whilst the gelatine is soaking, place the double cream, milk, sugar, vanilla & hazelnut paste into a saucepan then warm over a low heat. It’s important not to boil the liquid as it will affect how the gelatine sets.
Step 3 – Add In Gelatine & Chocolate
Once the cream mix is warm, remove it from the heat. Squeeze as much water a possible from the soaked gelatine then stir through the cream along with the white chocolate.
Stir until the chocolate & gelatine have completely melted then pass the mix into a metal bowl through a sieve then give it a quick blitz with a stick blender. This helps fully incorporate the hazelnut paste into the cream.
Step 4 – Cool In An Ice Bath
This next step is how we stop the vanilla seeds from sinking to the bottom of each mould.
To do this, fill a large bowl with ice then place the bowl of panna cotta mix inside, to create an ice bath. We then leave the cream to cool in the ice, stirring regularly until it is cool & starting to thicken. This holds the vanilla seeds in suspension.
Step 5 – Set In Moulds
Once the mix is cool, transfer it into 5, 150ml pudding moulds & refrigerate until completely set. This will take at least 4 hours.
Step 6 – Plating
Once set, it’s time to serve. To turn out the panna cottas, we need to briefly dunk each mould into a bowl of hot water, making sure not to fully submerge. Loosen the panna cotta’s top edge from the mould with your fingers then turn out onto a plate. Repeat with the other moulds.
If the panna cotta won’t come out of the mould the first time, dip it back into the hot water.
To serve our panna cottas, we add a spoonful of passion fruit coulis on top & to the side along with plenty of the syrup.
This is a super simple coulis which cuts through the richness of the panna cotta whilst also adding some texture. To make it, we cut the passion fruits in half & scoop out the pulp. The seeds are then separated from the juice & set aside.
To the juice, we add a splash of water & some caster sugar. This is then cooked into a syrup & the seeds are added back in.
As we mentioned earlier, these panna cottas work with almost any fruit. If you didn’t fancy using passion fruit, some strawberries or raspberries would be a good replacement.
Panna Cotta Tips & Tricks
- Don’t let the milk & cream boil as this will affect how the gelatine sets.
- Place the gelatine sheets in cold water one at a time. This helps them soak better.
- Cool the panna cotta mix over an ice bath to hold the vanilla seeds in suspension – this means that no seeds will sink to the bottom!
- Let the panna cottas set overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
- To remove the panna cottas, dunk the moulds in warm water then take out immediately. Loosen the top edge with your fingers & the panna cotta should just tip out.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use just cream but keep in mind that the texture will be firmer & not as light.
If you’d prefer a panna cotta that’s set firmer, use an extra sheet of gelatine. I wouldn’t recommend using any less than 3 sheets as the panna cotta won’t be set enough.
Replacing gelatine sheets with powder isn’t a direct swap so I would recommend sticking with sheets.
The panna cottas will take at least 4 hours to set in the fridge. I tend to leave them in the fridge overnight to be on the safe side.
This recipe can definitely be made ahead of time. Both the panna cottas & passion fruit can be made 2-3 days in advance.
Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.
More Dessert Recipes
- Lemon Drizzle Bakewell Tart
- French Toast Ice Cream
- Vanilla Panna Cotta & Roasted Strawberries
- Halva Ice Cream
- Raspberry Ripple Stracciatella
- Small Batch Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Brown Butter & Miso Treacle Tart
- Hazelnut Stracciatella
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White Chocolate & Hazelnut Panna Cotta With Passion Fruit
- Stick Blender
- 5 150ml Pudding Moulds
- Medium Saucepan
- 2 Metal Mixing Bowls
- Baking Tray
White Chocolate & Hazelnut Panna Cotta
- 350 ml Double Cream
- 250 ml Whole Milk
- 60 g Caster Sugar
- 3 tsp Hazelnut Paste
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
- 120 g White Chocolate
- 3 Sheets Of Gelatine
Passion Fruit Coulis
- 3 Passion Fruit
- 75 g Caster Sugar
- For the panna cottas, first place the gelatine into a container of cold water & leave to soak.*Adding the sheets of gelatine into the water one at a time helps them soak better.
- Next, place the cream, milk, sugar, hazelnut paste & vanilla into a saucepan.
- Place the pan over a low heat & allow to warm gently, stirring occasionally. Once steaming (don’t let it boil!) remove the pan from the heat.
- Squeeze as much water as you can from the soaked gelatine then add to the cream, along with the white chocolate. Stir until dissolved then blitz with a stick blender until smooth (around 30 seconds). Pass through a sieve into a bowl (metal is best).
- Fill a larger, separate bowl up with ice & water then place the bowl containing the cream into the bowl of water.
- Stir the panna cotta mix regularly until it has cooled down & has started to thicken. This will take around 20 minutes.*Allowing the panna cotta to cool like this holds the vanilla seeds in suspension, preventing them from sinking.
- Transfer the panna cotta mix to a jug then pour into the moulds. Place in the fridge & leave to set. This will take a minimum of 4 hours.
Passion Fruit Coulis
- Cut the passion fruits in half, scoop out the pulp then strain through a sieve, to separate the juice from the seeds.
- Weigh the juice into a saucepan & add enough water to bring the weight up to 100 grams.Set the seeds to one side.
- Next, add the sugar into the juice & place over a low heat.
- Heat until the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat to medium & bring to the boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the juice has reduced slightly.
- Remove the syrup from the heat, stir in the seeds then leave to cool. Transfer to a container & store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Fill a medium sized bowl up with hot water.
- Dunk a mould into the hot water then take it straight out.*Don’t fully submerge the pudding mould, we don’t want to get the panna cotta wet.
- Gently loosen the panna cotta’s top edge using your fingers then carefully turn out onto a plate/into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining panna cottas.*If the panna cotta won’t come out, dunk the mould into the water a second time.
- Spoon a generous amount of the passion fruit over each panna cotta & serve immediately.