BCM: Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta, Vegetarian Edition

yummy but not a perfect unmolding

Yummy, but not a perfect unmolding.

This week my bake-a-long group is making Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta, from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi cookbook. I’ve made Panna Cotta before, both from Dorie’s book, as well as my own creation, and both times the recipes called for gelatin as an ingredient. Being vegetarian, gelatin is a no-no, and since the DH doesn’t like chocolate, I had to figure out gelatin alternative so that I could eat up all the delicious, chocolatey goodness.

According to peta.org, agar-agar can be substituted for gelatin on a one-to-one ratio. So, this is what I tried! I’m hoping it works out, as I love chocolate (surprise! ha.) and custardy puddings, and hey, what is panna cotta if not a custardy pudding?

Panna cotta itself is very easy. In its most basic format, it’s mixing hot cream (and any flavourings) with gelatin (or in my case, agar-agar), letting the resultant mixture set. The panna cotta version I’m making today is basically a hot chocolate mixture made with cream (ah, delicious milk fat!) mixed with gelatin/agar-agar. Again, super-easy! The hardest part is waiting for it to set.

I’m going to try both ways that Dorie talked about presenting the panna cotta: in the dish in which it set, as well as trying to unmold it for a fancier presentation. Wish me luck!

Creamy inside, with a pudding skin top!

Creamy inside, with a pudding skin top!

And…done! Ok, so I ate it, and indeed, it tastes like hot chocolate, but in jelly form. All I can say is, one serving is lovely; rich, and lovely. Two servings in one evening is too much. And that’s rare for me to say!

Also, as you can see, it didn’t unmold super-easily, and wibble-wobbled all over the place. So I’d recommend doubling the amount of agar-agar used, and doing as Dorie says and straining the mixture before pouring it into the serving jars.

Aside from that though, it was a lovely pudding! Reminds me of the chocolate vla (Dutch pudding) that my mum used to make! Oh chocolate, how I adore thee!

Next Post: Fresh, yeasty, yummy dinner rolls! I try out multiple recipes so that you don’t have to. 🙂

16 thoughts on “BCM: Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta, Vegetarian Edition

    1. Margaret Post author

      I was just happy to have been able to eat panna cotta! I’ll be playing with quantities of agar agar in the future. And chocolate. Large quantities of chocolate. 🙂

  1. Tricia S.

    Yummy indeed. I was impressed that you found a way to make the ingredients suit your life style – well done ! I was not familiar with agar agar until reading a few posts where folks used it for this recipe. So nice to hear that it turned out well. And agreed, I am a big dessert lover and more is typically merrier for me but one of these did indeed hit the spot 🙂

  2. Teresa

    I finally caught up on this one and loved it. It’s nice to know agar agar works – a few people used it, I see. You are so brave for unmolding it – looks great!


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