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  • Orange Panna Cotta

    Posted on | April 27, 2007 | 32 Comments |

    Panna Cotta means Cooked Cream in Italian. This is one of the easiest desserts to make; simmer some cream and sugar, add gelatin and cool to form the most deliciously simple creamy dessert. This is also a very versatile dessert; add spices like vanilla bean, cardamom, cinnamon or ginger to the cream to make it more exotic. Another variation is to mix pureed fruits or juices directly into the cream to make a fruit flavored Panna Cotta. Panna Cotta goes nicely with warm fruit compotes, or you can make some nice fruit sauce to go with the plain Panna Cotta. The possibilities are endless with this one! 

    I’ve always enjoyed the Panna Cotta in its different forms at the restaurants, but never really thought about what is in it or how to make it at home. But a few years ago, my friend Su who is an amazing dessert expert made an orange scented Panna cotta for a party, it was the best Panna Cotta I’d ever had! When she explained the recipe, I was just amazed at how simple it was to make! After that I’ve tried this in various forms, and it always comes out great!


    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
    • 2 tbsp fresh orange peels
    • 1/2 vanilla bean split
    • Shaved chocolate and Orange segments for garnish


    Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp orange juice and let it stand for about 10 minutes without stirring. This is to soften the gelatin.

    In a saucepan, add cream, sugar, vanilla bean, orange peel and rest of the orange juice. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Taste and add more sugar if needed.

    When the cream is heated through and starts simmering, turn off the stove. Add the softened gelatin mixture and stir well to combine. Make sure the gelatin is completely dissolved.

    Pass the cooked cream mixture through a fine sieve to remove the orange peels and the vanilla pods.

    Pour the mixture into six ramekins or dessert bowls. Chill in the refrigerator uncovered for about 3 hours or overnight.

    Before serving, dip the cups in hot water for a few seconds. Pass a thin knife through the edges to separate the Panna cotta from the cup, and turn the cup on to the dessert plates. (see note)

    Garnish with shaved chocolate swirls and orange segments.


    • For me, the Panna cotta never ever comes out neatly from the ramekins. I tend to cut the edges while separating with the knife. (The one in the picture doesn’t look that great from the other side.) If you are serving this to guests, chill the Panna cotta in the serving bowls ( martini glasses will make a nice presentation) and serve directly without tempting fate.
    • Don’t boil gelatin, it will lose its binding power and the mixture will never set.
    • I made this one with Blood Oranges, thinking that the Panna Cotta will turn out in a nice red color, but the ratio of orange juice to cream is so low, the blood oranges didn’t make any difference to the color. So use regular oranges, blood oranges are so expensive, don’t waste those in this, since the taste is not that different with either one.

    This one has this really amazing burst of citrus flavor in each spoonful, orange lovers will love this. With all that cream and sugar, it is a very deceptively sinful dessert, even though it tastes very simple, so have at your own risk. Don’t come knockin’ when your waistline go expandin’!

    Check out Meeta’s Berry Panna Cotta here.

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    Category: Desserts, Diary, Oranges and Kumquats, Recipes

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    32 Responses to “Orange Panna Cotta”

    1. Meeta
      April 27th, 2007 @ 5:50 am

      Oh lovely Sig, I can just taste the citrus flavored cream. I too enjoy Panna Cotta because it’s so wonderfully versatile. I made a Berry Panna Cotta last summer (recipe on the blog) and I am sure it’s something you would like too.

    2. Sig
      April 27th, 2007 @ 5:59 am

      Yum… Meeta, ur berry panna cotta looks so great, I’ve added a link to it… mainly for myself so that I will remember to make it later :)

    3. Reena
      April 27th, 2007 @ 7:01 am

      how divine sig!!!

    4. Coffee
      April 27th, 2007 @ 11:05 am

      That pic looks goegeously inviting!!!!! And its so simple to make!!!!! Beautiful!!! Not I m hopping over to meeta’s berry version of it. :)

    5. Deepa
      April 27th, 2007 @ 11:42 am

      Yummy Yummy Lady ….Pics looks great …Excellent recipe

    6. Sia's Corner
      April 27th, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

      Don’t come knockin’ when your waistline go expandin’!
      point noted sig;) thanks for letting me know well in advance… he he he… now that u have mentioned i want to see the other side of panna cotta:) kidding…
      loved the presentation. beautiful. got to try this someday. sounds quite easy with those ingredients but have never made anything using gelatin.

    7. Sharmi
      April 27th, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

      hey Sig, thats a lovely pic, dont worry about the other side:))

      can I use Vanilla extract instead of bean, I don’t know where we find them.
      want to try out this recipe. the bright colored oranges and the chocolate garnish looks so good.

    8. Asha
      April 27th, 2007 @ 12:46 pm

      Looks yummy! Mexican Flan is something similar too.

      Spray lightly with no stick oil/butter inside the bowl and it will flop out like magic!Cover the outside the bowl with hot water towel for a second and it releases the sides too.Some tips.

    9. Richa
      April 27th, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

      hey sig, the panna cotta looks Yum-O! this is a must try for a special occasion, being sinful and all ;-)
      the orange slices garnish is so tempting, love oranges. wonder how it looks from the other side ;-)

    10. Sandeepa
      April 27th, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

      Oooooooh..La la what a pic !!! Just looking at this makes my day

    11. Sig
      April 27th, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

      Reena, thanks sweetie :)

      Coffee… thanks girl, hope you are feeling better now.

      Deepa, thanks and welcome to my blog :)

      Sup, gelatin is easy. I never used to use it before, once I discovered it, been using it a lot, in puddings and stuff…

    12. Sig
      April 27th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

      Sharmi, sure vanilla extract should work. Otherwise put 3-4 cardamom pods instead of vanilla, I’ve tried that and it tastes great.

      Asha, thanks for the tips, I’ll surely try that next time! :) , taking out has been the biggest challenge in all these desserts that I make.
      BTW, flan has eggs in it right?

      Richa, thanks :) , trust me, u don’t want to see the other side :)

      Sandeepa, thanks, :) It’s been a tough process getting this picture right, the first three were unusable, and this one only looked good from one angle.. So, thanks, :) all the complements means a lot!

    13. Karin
      April 27th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

      I saved this recipe. It looks perfect. I have made panna cotta myself twice this year. The first one was a chocolate panna cotta. The second time I made an experiment with Baileys Irish Cream which was a real success.

    14. Prema Sundar
      April 27th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

      Wow !!!lovely panna cotta Sig. The picture looks really gorgeous.

    15. shilpa(Aayisrecipes)
      April 27th, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

      Ohh gorgeous. I am going to bookmark this. Thanks sig

    16. Mythili
      April 27th, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

      Oh! Sweet Jesus !! Sinfully sexy… my heart stopped beating for a moment there.


    17. musical
      April 27th, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

      Sweetie, what have you done! this looks great and am sure tastes great-such a quick recipe, sure to be the center of attraction in any party. i usually make this with mango (using aam-ras!) but orange seems like a delicious idea-will try it soon.

      Have a great weekend.

    18. Mishmash !
      April 27th, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

      I know I dhould not blog hop with an empty tummy and I am being penalised now :) )) ALways wanted to try this,bu t never actually did :)


    19. bee
      April 28th, 2007 @ 4:18 am

      this is gorgeous. we’ll probably try it with lavender or some herb. i love pannacotta.

    20. Amy
      April 29th, 2007 @ 12:11 am

      It’s beautiful! The chocolate and orange is a great pairing. I agree, panna cotta is a very versatile dessert. Whenever I’m curious about combining 2 flavors in a dessert, I always want to try it in panna cotta first.

    21. Roopa
      April 29th, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

      wow sig that looks very tempting! but never tried anything using gelatin so far :(

    22. Sig
      April 29th, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

      Thank you all for your lovely comments, made my day as usual!

    23. Susan
      April 29th, 2007 @ 6:33 pm

      OK, why have I not made panna cotta yet? Is it really that simple? You’ve inspired me, Sig. Your photo is so mouth-watering, I’d fly to Seattle to try some.:)

    24. Sheela
      April 29th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

      Yumm! Wow, sig – that just jumps out at me… so, when can I pop over to your place? :)

      May 11th, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

      I love this dessert. Didn’t even cross my mind to try and make it at home, yours looks so lovely.

      Nice Site! I especially like your recipe index.

    26. Passionate baker
      November 23rd, 2007 @ 7:01 am

      I’m drooling all the way! All the posts are wonderful; pictures too. Great idea on the panna cotta. Will hve to make this sooooooooooon!!

      Panna cotta is my favorite dessert, must be evident from all the panna cottas I have here ;)

    27. Coffee and Vanilla
      November 24th, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

      I made panna cotta once, it was really delicious but I have never tried to take it out from the ramekins, you can take a look at it here:
      I see also few of your flan recipes that intrigued me… I have never tried to make one yet.
      Have a good day,

    28. Vishnu
      August 15th, 2009 @ 9:48 am


      Great recipe, as always.

      I found an easy way to get them out of ramekins, by accident. I use silicone molds and I just microwave a small bowl of water for a minute, and drop the silicone mold with panna cotta in it for 20-30 sec, you can see the edge softening. Just pick it and turn it upside down in the plate and slightly squeeze the silicone mold and the panna cotta comes out looking beautiful.

      I tried your orange and mango recipes. Looking to try the other ones soon.

    29. Tushar
      May 22nd, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

      Looks awesome! Would you know where I could get some in Seattle?

    30. Sreelatha
      December 21st, 2011 @ 7:00 am

      I made it and everybody loved it!Thanks a lot dear!
      It came out really good!I’ll send you the pic sometime :-)
      Keep postings such super recipes!