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Jan 8, 2007 02:30 PM

Panna Cotta question

does panna cotta always have to be made with cream? besides honoring the original name of the dessert "cooked cream" what is the reason it cannot be made into a lower-fat version, perhaps just with whole or 2% milk--I made some this weekend with full fat yogurt and heavy cream and while delicious, seemed a bit excessive.

Does anyone have some good variations for a lower fat panna cotta?

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  1. Yes, I'm afraid it does.

    There are low(er) fat vanilla custard recipes out there, but without the cream you'd lose the mouth feel that makes panna cotta what it is - and, as you say, panna cotta quite simply means cooked cream. That's not its "original" name, it's what it is, pure and simple.

    By all means, look for a heart-friendlier dessert, but please don't use the name panna cotta for a dish with no cream in it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BobB

      I agree, call it milk Jello or something but it will not be panna cotta. It is not an everyday dessert so why not leave it alone?

      1. re: Candy

        Exactly--it would be like the almond jello you get at dimsum.

    2. It needs cream to preserve the mouthful but all the dairy products involved need not be cream. Personally, I love the Claudia Fleming's buttermilk panna cotta. It has a fresh light taste and just the right amount of gel. I hate it when panna cotta lasts like congealed fat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JudiAU

        I agree. Yogurt, buttermilk, coconut milk are good substitutes - or you can use a third milk instead of all cream. A good fruit puree would probably work too, maybe mango or pear.