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Creamy, silky Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, rich and satisfying, yet not overly sweet. Vegan- adaptable and can be made ahead!

Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta

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Creamy decadent Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta ( vegan-adaptable) topped with optional candied blood oranges. An elegant finish to your special dinner with 20 minutes of hands-on time, 6 hours of refrigeration time. Can be made three days ahead.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or half and half, or 14-ounce can of coconut milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ( or half and half, or soy or nut milk)
  • 1/81/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or coffee-flavored Liquor
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin (or 1 1/4 teaspoons agar agar)
  • 1/4 cup water or fresh blood orange juice

Optional Candied Blood Oranges

  • 1 blood orange- thinly sliced ( or use regular orange, see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 red beet- see notes


  1. In a medium pot, gently heat whipping cream and milk over medium heat. Add 1/8-1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir often and just bring to a simmer, taking care not to boil.
  2. Turn heat to low and whisk in chocolate chips, stirring until melted and smooth. Taste. Add more sugar if you prefer, and gently stir over low heat to dissolve. Turn the heat off.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm orange juice (or plain water) just slightly. Sprinkle gelatin over the top, let it bloom for one minute, then stir with a fork until smooth. Add to the hot chocolate mixture and whisk well. Alternatively If using agar agar, sprinkle it while whisking, over the hot chocolate mixture directly,  whisk well, and simmer for one minute. TIP: If you are unsure if your gelatin or agar agar are properly blended ( if it is clumped) use a blender or hand blender to blend until smooth- I always do this with agar agar.
  4. Pour into 6 ramekins, cups or glasses (stemless wineglasses, or vintage cocktail glasses work well here) and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight, or up to three days (covering with plastic wrap if longer than over night).
  5. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or make the candied Blood oranges.
  6. Candied blood oranges: bring sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the thinly sliced oranges, coating all sides. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, occasionally turning until oranges become tender and the syrup thickens. Turn heat to low, simmer 10-15 more minutes. Place slices on a cooling rack, reserving syrup.
  7. Once the  panna cotta is firm, and the oranges have cooled, place a candied blood orange slice over the top and drizzle with a little of the syrup. Serve with a small spoon or refrigerate until ready to serve (wrap with plastic wrap).


  1.  Make up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To intensify the beautiful color of the candied oranges, add 1-2 slices of raw red beet to the syrup while cooking, especially if you are using regular oranges.
  3. If using agar agar and for some reason it doesn’t set, scoop it out, reheat over low heat, until almost simmering, blend with an immersion blender until very smooth and you are certain agar agar is fully incorporated. Don’t be tempted to add more. Chill again.


  • Serving Size: ½ cup with Candied Blood Orange
  • Calories: 419
  • Sugar: 50.4 g
  • Sodium: 411.4 mg
  • Fat: 21.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.6 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 34.3 mg