Panna Cotta With Chocolate And Strawberry Layers (Great for Valentine’s Day)
This panna cotta with chocolate and strawberry layers is great for Valentine’s Day. Make it ahead and treat your loved one with this irresistible dessert. Instead of buying chocolate covered strawberries you can make this homemade panna cotta for Valentine’s Day. This dessert is heavenly. The layers of white and milk chocolate are so creamy, and they melt in your mouth. While the strawberry layer tastes fresh and tangy which balances the sweetness perfectly.
The recipe might seem intimidating for some, but it is actually quite easy. The hardest part about it is being patient. In order to achieve the perfect layers, you have to be patient and wait for each layer to set in the fridge before applying the next one.
What is panna cotta?
It is a very delicious Italian dessert made with heavy cream and gelatin. Translated panna cotta means “cooked cream.” In reality you don’t have to cook anything to prepare this recipe. You just heat up the cream enough, so it melts your chocolate.
The hardest thing about making this creamy dessert is to achieve the perfect texture. Also, you need to be patient and wait for the panna cotta to set completely. Sometimes you can see this dessert served on a plate and drizzled with berry sauce. Often there are some chopped fruits on top too. For my recipe I decided to create layers of chocolate and strawberry. I’m telling you be prepared to fall in love with this dessert once you give it a try.
What do you have to know before you make panna cotta?
Something important you should know is that this recipe is high in calories. The main ingredients are heavy cream and chocolate. Therefore, please be advised that it is not suitable for people who are trying to lose weight.
You can make this recipe low carb depending on the chocolate and type of sugar you use. In the past I made it with sugar free chocolate, sweetened with monk fruit and it was delicious. Nowadays you can find many brands of sugar free chocolate in the store. I’ve used chocolate chips from ChocZero.
Basic steps for preparing panna cotta
- Add 7 oz of white chocolate in a bowl.
- Add 7oz of milk or dark chocolate in another bowl
- Heat up 3 cups of heavy cream on a low heat. Bring to a simmer. Do not boil!
- Dissolve 7 grams or one packet of gelatin in water and melt.
- Add the gelatin to the warm cream and stir.
- Add half of the cream to the bowl of white chocolate. Add the other half to the bowl of milk or dark chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Blend two cups of fresh strawberries to a purée.
- Sift through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- Transfer the strawberry purée into a pot and add 1/4 cup of sugar to it.
- Heat up the strawberry purée and stir until the sugar is dissolved
- Add another packet of melted gelatin to the strawberry purée.
- Divide the milk (dark)chocolate mixture evenly between six glasses of your choice.
- Chill for 15 minutes in the freezer
- Divide the white chocolate mixture between the six glasses after you make sure that the first layer is set.
- Chill for another 15 minutes in the freezer
- Divide the strawberry layer between the six glasses. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
How to work with gelatin?
It is very important to buy unflavored gelatin for this recipe. You can find it in the baking aisle in the grocery store.
- Add one tablespoon of cold water in a microwave safe bowl.
- Wait until the gelatin blooms or absorbs all the water.
- Melt the gelatin in the microwave for 8-10 seconds.
- Pour the melted gelatin into the cream or the mixture you want to thicken.
- Stir well and refrigerate.
Helpful tips when you make panna cotta
I recommend using high quality chocolate for your panna cotta if you want a good tasting dessert.
Do not bring the cream to boil. Gently bring it to simmer and remove it from the stove. If you heat it for too long it can curdle.
In order to achieve the perfect layers you have to chill the panna cotta for 30 minutes in the refrigerator of 15 minutes in the freezer between each layer.If you try to add another layer and the previous layer is not completely set both layers will mix. This will ruin the look and the taste you are going for.
Use whatever glasses you have, and prefer. I think that this panna cotta looks well in martini glasses.
I used some whipped cream and strawberries to decorate my desserts, but that is completely optional. You can skip the decoration or decorate in another way.
Panna Cotta With Chocolate And Strawberry Layers
- Food processor, blender
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 7 oz white chocolate I used Lindt
- 7 oz milk or dark chocolate I used milk chocolate chips
- 2 packets unflavored gelatin 0.25 oz or 7g each packet
- 2 cups fresh strawberries washed and stems removed
- ¼ cup sugar
- fresh strawberries and whipped cream
- Add the white chocolate in one bowl and milk chocolate in another.
- In a small bowl add a packet of gelatin with a tablespoon of cold water. When the gelatin absorbs the water put the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds. The heat will melt it.
- Put 3 cups of heavy whipping cream in a pot and heat it up until it is simmering. Remove from the stove before it starts to boil. Then add the melted gelatin to the cream.
- Separate the cream evenly between the two bowls of chocolate. Add a cup and a half of hot cream in the bowl of white chocolate and a cup and a half in the bowl of milk (dark) chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
- If you can't dissolve all of the chocolate on the first try you have two options. You can either warm up the mixture gently in the microwave and stir until fully dissolved or strain the mixture trough a fine mesh strainer. until it is smooth.
- Divide the milk (dark) chocolate mixture between 6 classes or bowls of your choice. You need to fill about ⅓ of each glass. Then put in the freezer for 15 min (fridge 30 minutes).
- While you wait for the first layer to set add two cups of strawberries in a food processor or blender. Process until you have a pure. Strain the pure thought a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- Put the strained strawberry pure on the stove and add ¼ cup sugar. Then heat it up and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add another gelatin packet in a bowl with a tablespoon of water. As soon as the water is absorbed microwave it for 10 seconds.
- Add the melted gelatin to the heated pure and stir well. Remove from the heat.
- Once the milk chocolate layer is firm stir the white chocolate mixture. Then divide it between the 6 glasses on top of the milk (dark) layer. Then return in the freezer for another 15 min (fridge 30 min).
- When the white layer is firm divide the strawberry pure between the glasses and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- If you want you can decorate with fresh strawberries and whipped cream before serving.
- Store leftovers in the fridge 3-5 days.