Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream (2024)

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Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream – Layer upon layer of chocolate, coffee, and cream makes for one rich, delicious java dessert that you’ll want to share with everyone!

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I am totally one of those people that could drink coffee all day.

At this point in my caffeine-driven life, I’m convinced that it’s all a lie. A placebo effect that convinces busy, sleep-deprived workaholics (like moi) that they can conquer the world…one cup at a time.

For me, coffee just fills the void that I wish was my snooze button. 5 days a week, my morning is the same: stumbling to the old Keurig long before the sun has even thought about coming up, eyes half open, with the dog whining at the back door to be let out.

Coffee first, then life. But for me it’s not necessarily the caffeine, but the routine.


If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy panna cotta recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!

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As a kid, I could never understand what Nana saw in drinking coffee. Aside from the scent of the grounds as you open the bag (which I’m pretty sure we are predestined as humans to love,) the appeal of the bitter brown liquid was lost on me. Especially since she would make a kettle-full and take two days to drink the whole thing, simply microwaving a cup at a time.

She was one of those people who drank 3-4 cups a day, at all hours, and she lived to be 90. Plus, she had no health problems until her last year with us.

The back and forth of whether or not caffeine affects heart health loses credibility when you look at the full, vigorous life she led.

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This past Friday, I participated in a local American Heart Association Heart Walk(around Daytona International Speedway) with people representing various small and large businesses in my area. I, of course, walked with my team from Publix, but I was walking for my Papa.

If you’re a regular reader, you know all about Nana, but I don’t talk about Papa much. I was very young when he passed away in 1989 after his eighth and final heart attack, but my memories of him are vivid. He had an incredibly full head of hair for a man in his late 70s, and he was always dressed well. He forever smelled like Old Spice. He drank buttermilk from the cartonand ate fried bologna and onion sandwiches like it was his job.

He read to me every night, more than one story if I asked him to. He built the cabinets in my kitchen with his own two hands, and while I can’t stand Formica, I can’t bear to change them.

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And oh man, did he love his family. Despite how young I was, losing my father figure was incredibly impactful. I didn’t know him nearly as well as I grew to know Nana, but I still miss him every day, and blow a kiss at the photo I have of him by my front door on my way out.

Coffee cup in hand.

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This week, the fun folks of Sunday Supper are sharing their favorite coffee-based recipes, so of course, I couldn’t pass up showing off one of my favorite desserts of all time.

Panna cotta.

It’s already the most beautiful blend of cream and gelatin, and then…spiking it with espresso? And layering it over dark chocolate Kahlua mousse?! Oy. Hold me.

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Pouring some warm chocolate ganache to soften the top of the panna cottajuuust a little bit, then topping it all off with a sweet mascarpone whipped cream makes this dessert complete. The various textures and flavors are a decadent combo that can dull that evening coffee ache that sometimes hits.

If you decide to make this recipe, trust me when I say a wine glass full like the ones in my photos will require two or three spoons to finish it off – it’s incredibly rich, so it is completely acceptable (and probably recommended!) to make smaller glasses to feed more people their own serving.

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Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream (13)

Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream

Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream - Layer upon layer of chocolate, coffee, and cream makes for one rich, delicious java dessert that you'll want to share with everyone!

3.93 from 26 votes

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: coffee panna cotta, panna cotta

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 833kcal

Author: Erica


Chocolate Cream

  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kahlua optional

Espresso Panna Cotta

  • ½ cup whole milk separated
  • 2 teaspoons plain gelatin powder
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chopped

Mascarpone Cream

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Mascarpone cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whole coffee beans for garnish


Chocolate Cream

  • Place the cream, chocolate and honey in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth and incorporated. Whisk in the cocoa powder and Kahlua.

  • Place 3-4 wine glasses at a slant in loaf pans. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into them. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

Espresso Panna Cotta

  • Place ¼ cup of milk in a small shallow bowl and set it in a larger bowl filled with hot water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk, allowing gelatin to melt.

  • In a medium saucepan set over low heat, bring the remaining ¼ cup of milk, heavy cream, espresso, and sugar to a low boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

  • Remove coffee-cream mixture from heat and whisk in the vanilla and gelatin until combined. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature, then pour over the set chocolate cream.

  • Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Combine cream and chocolate in a double boiler, whisking until smooth. (Alternatively, place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second bursts, whisking between until smooth.)

  • Pour ganache over set panna cotta just before serving.

Mascarpone Cream

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip until medium peaks form.

  • Pipe or spoon prepared mascarpone cream over ganache before serving, then garnish with whole coffee beans. Enjoy!



Calories: 833kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 2205IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 4.3mg

Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a pic, post it, and mention @CrumbyKitchen or tag #crumbykitchen for some Instagram love!

Coffee, coffee everywhere – in more than 40 recipes, as a matter of fact, all from my fellow #SundaySupper Tastemakers!



Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream (14)





Mocha Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cream (2024)


Why is my panna cotta rubbery? ›

The gelatin gets stronger as it sits, so this will be a bit rubbery by days 4 or 5, but you can mitigate this by letting the panna cotta sit at room temperature for about half an hour before serving.

How do you describe panna cotta on a menu? ›

One of the best known and frequently requested desserts, panna cotta – literally “cooked cream” – originated in Piedmont and is made of cream and sugar. There are different versions and flavorings. Its delicate sweetness, smooth texture and the elegant way it is plated make it a perfect treat at the end of a meal.

What happens if you put too much gelatin in panna cotta? ›

Too much gelatin could result in a texture that is too firm and Jello-like (you want the panna cotta to be just barely firm enough to unmold).

How to fix panna cotta that hasn't set? ›

If your panna cotta hasn't set, it's not that there is too much liquid in the recipe. It is because you haven't cooked your panna cotta mixture for long enough. I find around the 20 minute mark is a good length of time to cook the mixture on low. This seems to be sufficient time to allow the agar agar to gel.

Does panna cotta contain cream? ›

Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italy, and that's essentially what the base is: heated heavy cream (often with a little half-and-half or whole milk) set with powdered gelatin and flavored with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Is panna cotta good or bad for you? ›

Panna cotta can always be the right dessert — whether you're throwing a fancy party or a small one, have lots of time or no time, are gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-prone, vegan, or simply craving a delicious and creamy sweet. It's perfect.

How do you rescue panna cotta? ›

If the panna cotta refuses to let go, try quickly dipping the mold in hot water and trying again. One trick is to brush a very thin layer of flavorless oil on the inside of each mold before pouring in the mixture. If the panna cotta absolutely won't come out, get a spoon and enjoy it straight from the dish...

How do you fix hard panna cotta? ›

Might try to leave it out of the fridge for one hour to bring it up to room temperature. This will soften the panna cotta. If it's still to hard it would be possible to reheat it and add more cream + sugar and chill it again. Gelatine can be remelted.

Why does my panna cotta keep separating? ›

If you find that your panna cotta separates into two layers, one that's creamy and one that's more gelatin-like — there can be two reasons. First, either your gelatin didn't bloom and dissolve properly when stirred into the cream. Second, the cream mixture boiled after the gelatin was added.

Why is my panna cotta thick? ›

The reason for the gelatin is obvious — a perfect panna cotta should have just enough that it seems the cream is barely holding together. It quivers when you touch it. When there's too much gelatin, the custard feels stiff and cheesy.

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