Panna Cotta Parfaits

Panna cotta! How could I have gone so long and never known about it?

Since I consider myself a serious pudding addict, it makes me kind of embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t ever tried panna cotta until just a couple weeks ago.

I’ve made panna cotta for myself a couple times since then, and there are definitely a few things I’ve learned about it.

First: it’s important to use high fat dairy products, since using regular milk instead of creams will detract from the smooth texture of your panna cotta.

Second: panna cotta’s sweet, light flavour is good with almost anything — no joke!

It especially goes well with peach, lemon, mint, vanilla, and white chocolate — all of which are in this recipe!

Not to deter anyone, but between the cooking, chilling, layering, and more chilling, making this recipe takes some time. Luckily, like most recipes that are done in steps, there are a lot of places to take a break and come back later.

So, if you adore panna cotta, or if you haven’t tried its soft, sweet, milky goodness, then you just gotta.

It’s extremely simple and straight forward to make, which means that you’ve got no excuse not to now!

Panna Cotta Parfaits

*panna cotta adapted from David Lebovitz,
*mint-peach jelly and white chocolate mint ganache by Christine


  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
  • 1/4 cup water + 3 tablespoons, for gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 large stalks of fresh mint
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whip cream + 1/4 cup, for ganache
  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 packet powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ~ 3 drops peppermint extract


Mint-Peach Jelly

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine peach preserves, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of water, pinch of salt, and stalks of mint.

Bring to a simmer and stir gently. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, or until the mixture is thick and jelly-like.

Remove mint sprigs and cool for another 10 minutes before spooning the jelly into prepared parfait cups.

Chill the cups until the jelly is set.

Panna Cotta

Pour 3 tablespoons of very cold water into a bowl large enough to hold 4 cups of liquid. Sprinkle 1 packet of powdered gelatin over the cold water and let sit for 5 ~ 10 minutes.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine 1 cup whip cream, 1 cup half & half cream, vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons white sugar, and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, remove the mixture from heat and pour over the prepared powdered gelatin. Whisk vigorously until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Allow the hot mixture to cool for 10 minutes before whisking again, and then dividing equally between the jelly-bottomed parfait cups.

Refrigerate for 3 hours — the panna cotta should be completely firm and not jiggle at all once set.

White Chocolate Mint Ganache

Place chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.

In a small sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup of whip cream until it just simmers — watch it carefully, though, since whip cream can boil over very quickly.

Pour the hot whip cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute and then stir until completely smooth.

Pour over cold panna cotta parfait cups and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6 small parfaits.

Garnish your parfaits with tiny mint leaves or dust with unsweetened cocoa powder, and eat chilled!

Sprucing up this panna cotta makes for a deletable treat during any time of the year. You could even try using different kinds of preserves, like raspberry or blueberry. Yum!

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One thought on “Panna Cotta Parfaits

  1. Miriam Martin says:

    OMG, Yum! This and the buttermilk pie look insanely right up my alley … um, can you say “dairy addict”!?

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