White chocolate panna cotta with rose, an easy make-ahead dessert made in 20 minutes with no added sugar. Serve chilled for parties in shot glasses or upturn in moulds. In fact, they're so easy to make, you're chill too before the guests arrive!
What is Panna Cotta Made Of?
What I love about this panna cotta dessert is it’s so quick and simple. Made in just 20 minutes with a couple of hours of chilling, it's the perfect advance prep dessert. Meaning 'cooked cream' in Italian, it's traditionally made with cream, sugar and set with gelatine.
In this recipe, the sugar is replaced with white chocolate, which also helps to set the panna cottas while they chill in the fridge. Once you have the basic recipe you can make all sorts of flavour combinations – even savoury.
What is Panna Cotta vs Flan?
While the panna cotta and flan are both served chilled as a pudding, they are both different. The flan or French crème caramel (flan aux oeufs) is set by making an egg yolk custard and cooked in an oven bath (bain-marie).
Conversely, the panna cotta is simply heated cream in the saucepan with added gelatine to set.
White Chocolate Panna Cotta - What Does it Taste Like?
For this white chocolate panna cotta recipe, I have played around with the traditional ingredients and instead of adding sugar have used white chocolate. This not only helps to set it well but without sugar added, it's not too sweet.
The resulting taste is creamy with a hint of rose, so delicately floral. Inspired by the flavours of this original white chocolate mousse with rose and orange blossom, the texture is more set.
Accompanied with this simple cherry sauce, the taste is layered further with warming cardamom spice. Sour cherries adds une touche of tartness with the subtle yet intriguing green cardamom. However, if you prefer without the cardamom, omit the seeds - but please do try it first.
Easy White Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe with Rose
Few ingredients are needed. First cut up the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a saucepan with the cream, milk and a little rosewater.
Heat the cream/milk together and, if you like yours pink, add a tiny speck of rose/raspberry/beetroot powdered food colouring. Really, so little is needed but leave out, if you prefer sans.
Don't boil the cream (to avoid any film forming), just heat gently and add the white chocolate.
As soon as it's melted in, squeeze out the liquid from the soaked gelatine sheets (or add powder).
Pour into non-stick silicone moulds or directly into serving glasses then chill for at least 2 hours.
How to Serve White Chocolate Panna Cotta
Panna cotta desserts are great for parties and dinner parties because they can be made a couple of days in advance. Serve chilled in cute little yogurt pots or party shot glasses topped with some fruit or purée. Here I made them along with the pistachio panna cotta with strawberries.
To serve for an elegant dinner on a dessert plate, fill the cream mixture into silicone moulds. Turn them out on serving plates surrounded with a fruit coulis and be creative on decor.
For a touch of Parisian elegance, add a raspberry rose macaron and serve with pink Champagne or a Kir Royal. It's also so good served with a palet Breton (French butter biscuit) or almond tuile cookies - both recipes link to my videos.
Talking of bubbles, I needed a flute of pink Champagne just for the sake of a romantic shot. In the end, the bottle and flute stem are barely visible. I tried to get the Champagne in view but the angle was wrong; drank some more to see if a lower level would work. No use. Drank the whole lot and it still didn’t show. Oh, the things I do for this blog!
How Long does it Keep?
Great news. These are perfect make-ahead desserts for a dinner party or for a crowd. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days but the closer you can eat them after making them, 1-2 days, it's best to appreciate their flavours.
Just one of our favourite desserts to serve for St Valentine's Day - see my top 30 Valentine's Dessert Ideas. Plus it's a great winter panna cotta too.
White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Rose
Rose & White Chocolate Panna Cotta
- 3 @2g gelatine leaves soaked in cold water (or 2½ teaspoon gelatine powder)
- 400 ml (14fl oz/ 1 ⅔ cup) whipping/heavy cream (30% fat)
- 75 ml (2.5fl oz/ ⅓ cup) whole milk
- 12 ml (scant tbsp) rosewater or rose syrup * see NOTES
- 85 g (3oz / 1 cup) white chocolate (34% cacao)
- 2-3 drops pink food colouring optional
- Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat together the cream, milk, rosewater* and colouring (if using) in a saucepan and gradually melt in the white chocolate. Stir until smooth. Squeeze in the gelatine and stir to dissolve into the warm cream.
- Pour into non-stick silicone moulds or into glasses.
- Leave to chill and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Glasses: top with cherry sauce.Moulds: run the underside of the moulds under hot water (for up to a minute) then carefully turn them out on to a pastry scraper (or pie slice). This makes it easier to flip them directly on to the serving plates. Pour around the blended cherry sauce.
Cherry Sauce for Meats to Dessert
- 300 g (2 cups) cherries (fresh or frozen) pitted
- 2 tablespoon water (not needed if using frozen cherries)
- 45 g (3 tbsp) caster sugar superfine
- 4 pods green cardamom seeds
- ¼ teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar optional
- Place the cherries in a saucepan with water (no need for water if your cherries are frozen), sugar, lemon juice, pepper and the cardamom seeds.
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the cherries are soft (less if fresh). Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce for up to 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste if for savoury.
- Blitz with a hand blender either completely to a smooth sauce or blend half way to contain some whole cherries.
This recipe was first published 16 February 2011 but is now completely updated