One of the best food discoveries from our trip to Stockholm was the dessert, Pannacotta. It is apparently an Italian dessert that is quite common but I’d never eaten it. It was so smooth and light and delicious that I kept trying it in different restaurants.

Once home I was determined to replicate it. I found many recipes online. They all stressed how simple it is to make and how versatile it is. Although a simple vanilla flavor it can be served with any kind of fruit or chocolate or other sauces.

Some recipes called for boiling the cream, others said to just bring the cream to a simmer. I’ve always thought that cream shouldn’t be boiled so used the simmer method. My first two attempts fell short.

My first effort was a disappointment. The flavor was perfect but a thin layer had formed on the top disrupting the smoothness that should have been perfect. I tried again using another recipe, this time it didn’t set well enough to unmold although the flavor was again great.

Undaunted, I tried again combining two recipes to achieve success. I softened the gelatin in milk, heated it just enough to melt the gelatin and then removed from the heat and added the other ingredients. The whole process didn’t take more than five minutes. I did have some trouble unmolding the ramekins. I set the base in warm water and ran a thin knife around the edge but it was difficult. Several recipes suggested oiling the molds with a thin coat of oil or butter. I’ll try that next time.


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top to soften. Once softened, heat milk until just under a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir until the gelatin is fully melted. Add cream, sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow the mixture to reach room temperature, pour into ramekins or small sauce dishes or wine glasses and refrigerate until set, 4 hours or longer.

Makes 6 servings.

Pannacotta with raspberry sauce.

Pannacotta with raspberry sauce.

Pannacotta unmolded from ramekin.