Nutty, light and gently-flavoured

Try the milk chocolate hazelnut panna cotta

For years I thought that the deeper, darker and more ganache-like a chocolate pudding was, the more I would like it. But recently, I met one on the opposite end of that bittersweet spectrum. It was satiny and buoyant, instantly dissolving into a sweet, bright, milky puddle when it hit my tongue.

Flavoured with Nutella, the Italian hazelnut-chocolate spread, it was about as far away from my sticky ganache ideal as it could possibly be, and yet I fell head over heels.

The recipe, a milk chocolate hazelnut panna cotta, is from Karen DeMasco's cookbook, The Craft of Baking.

Set with gelatine instead of egg yolk, panna cottas are lighter than most puddings. And the milk chocolate doesn't yield as intense a flavour.

But even so, I was curious to try it, mostly because I crave panna cottas of every stripe and the inclusion of Nutella, which I've loved since my very first finger-full as a child seemed like a stroke of genius.

I made the recipe and was rewarded with a nutty, light, gently-flavoured pudding that was so easy to eat.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta

This recipe serves six, takes 20 minutes to make and requires atleast six hours of chilling.


Powdered gelatine: 1 1/8 tsp

Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped: 60 gm

Nutella: 1 cup

Kosher salt/rock salt: 1/2 tsp

Heavy cream: 1 1/2 cups

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract: 1/2 tsp

Whole milk: 1 cup

For serving (optional)

Toasted hazelnuts, chopped:

1/4 cup


In a medium bowl, whisk gelatine with three tablespoons cold water. Place chopped chocolate in another medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine Nutella and salt.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour half the cream over the gelatine mixture and whisk gently to combine; stir in vanilla. Pour remaining cream over chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Combine two mixtures; whisk well. Pour one-third of the gelatine-chocolate mixture over Nutella; beat using an electric mixer on low speed until a smooth paste forms. Pour in remaining mixture and milk; beat until fully combined.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into six ramekins (small serving bowls). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until set, about six hours or overnight.

Serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, if desired.