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Panna Cotta question

jessica Jan 8, 2007 02:30 PM

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?

  1. j
    JudiAU Jan 8, 2007 04:41 PM

    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
      babette feasts Jan 8, 2007 11:16 PM

      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.

    2. BobB Jan 8, 2007 04:01 PM

      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
        Candy Jan 8, 2007 04:16 PM

        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
          chowser Jan 8, 2007 05:05 PM

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

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