These beautiful salted caramel panna cotta cups are an easy, prepare ahead dessert recipe. The set cream is flavoured with sugar and vanilla before being poured over chilled salted caramel sauce. This simple trick creates the 3 layers, make plating this Italian dessert easy; use a small glass jar, cup or pot and presentation is as simple as a plain white plate and a pretty spoon.
A great dessert to have up your sleeve, the wonderful mix of wobbly panna cotta and smooth runny caramel is sure to impress your guests.
What is Panna Cotta and is it hard to make?
Panna cotta is a wibbly wobbly dessert that is sure to please. It is essentially a set sweetened cream, that is often unmolded.
The unmolding, is where many a masterchef contestant has come unstuck! Either the set isn’t right so the panna cotta doesn’t wobble, or it is too soft and the panna cotta collapses onto the plate in a puddle.
However this salted caramel version is served in a pot, which takes all the stress out of making it. You don’t need to worry about the firmness of the set, meaning you can relax and enjoy your main course without dessert anxiety setting in.
Salted Cameral winner!!!!
Tips for making the salted caramel panna cotta pots
The delicious vanilla panna cotta is poured over salted caramel sauce. I use my own homemade version (recipe here) but store bought caramel is fine. Just have a little taste and add extra salt if needed.
To make sure you get the distinctive layering affect, pour the caramel sauce into the bottom of your glasses and then chill it. This stops it melting instantly when the warm milk mixture is poured over it.
There will be some melting and that is fine, we want the milk mixture and the caramel to combine slightly, this creates that pale caramel layer you see in the photos.
If your caramel and milk mixture combine completely don’t panic. The dessert is still perfectly edible and delicious, it just won’t have the layered affect that you see here.
Make sure you don’t boil your milk, it needs to be warmed up to help the gelatine and sugar dissolve, but excessive heat will break down the gelatine and stop it working. Ideally the milk should be warm when you put a finger into it, but never get so hot that you want to take your finger out.
To check everything has dissolved, take a pinch of the liquid and rub it between your fingers, there should be no graininess. If you can still feel the gelatine, put it back over a low heat and continue to stir gently.
For other panna cotta recipes try:
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Salted Caramel Panna Cotta Cups
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (get my homemade recipe)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping/pouring cream)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- Start by dividing the salted caramel sauce between four dessert glasses.
- Place them in the fridge to chill whilst you make the panna cotta.
- Pour the milk into a small saucepan and evenly sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the top.
- Set it aside to for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes place the pan over a very low heat and heat gently for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. The milk shouldn't get hot, just warm to allow the gelatine to melt. You should be able to hold your finger in the milk without it burning.
- Take a pinch of the milk and rub it through your fingers to check for any graininess.
- Once the gelatine has dissolved add the caster sugar and stir gently over a very low heat until it is dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved remove from the heat and stir in the cream, vanilla and salt.
- Carefully pour the milk mixture over the cold caramel and place in the fridge to set for 3 hours.
- Remove from the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.
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Originally posted in October 21017.
Updated with fresh words and a new feature image.