Sunday, April 21, 2013

Anniversary Dinner 2013 Dessert Course: Espresso Panna Cotta for an April Showers #SundaySupper

Espresso Panna Cotta

Let me start off by quoting one of my favorite TV shows: Lucy, you got some `splainin` to do!

By now, you've probably figured out that I'm a guy. As a guy, I don't attend many baby showers or bridal showers, which is the theme for this week's #SundaySupper, so I had to ask and again I turned to Renee of Magnolia Days. A point that is reinforced with a quick review of the other participating bloggers because I'm the only male. This is the third and final course Mrs. Stuntman and I used to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary, however Renee thought this dish would be perfect for a "shower" event particularly because of it's presentation. After all, Mrs. Stuntman is still a bride, correct?

The Source

This Giada De Laurentiis dessert can be found of Food Network's website.


1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 heaping teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
Raspberries and mint leaves (for garnish)


1. Combine the milk and gelatin in a small saucepan and set aside for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves and ensuring the milk doesn't boil, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, espresso powder, sugar, and salt to the milk and gelatin reducing the heat to low, stirring until the sugar dissolves, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Then pour the panna cotta into martini glasses, dividing equally. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours but not more than 2 days. Once ready to serve, garnish with mint leaves and raspberries.


There are several issues to address. When I published the appetizer course this past Monday, I noted that the challenge was to put together a harmonious tasting menu. So how well did I connect the three dishes? Well, one thing that I relied upon in preparing this menu is a rule of thumb Tom Colicchio notes in his book, Think Like A Chef, was if it grows together, it goes together. Radicchio and Napa cabbage are available year round but fennel and watercress are spring vegetables. According to The Flavor Bible, lamb is also seasonal, which was the protein in my entreé course. And since mint complements lamb well, I used it as a garnish for this course primarily because I didn't think the garnishes Giada used were very colorful. She used a chocolate garnish, which complements espresso. A stretch? Possibly.

After running around like a headless chicken hosting several three-course dinner parties in the past, I can finally say I've learned to carefully plan my menu items, given the preparation methods and the resources available. I prepared this course in the morning of our dinner primarily because the preparation was quick and I could let the dish set in the refrigerator while I prepared the other courses. I used the same saucepan I used in this dish to prepare the warm honey dressing in the appetizer course and quickly washed it out to simmer the potatoes for my lamb side dish while we ate the radicchio slaw.

In addition, I really like this dish for a baby shower/bridal shower setting because it can be prepared the day before and needs very little attention, allowing the host to focus on other areas of preparation. I also like this dessert because it was light and well-balanced with the sweetness of the raspberries, mint and sugar contrasting the bitter espresso.

Other Sunday Supper Participants

And finally, please check out this week's other Sunday Supper participants:

Starters, Appetizers & Snacks
Soups, Salads & Sandwiches
Main Dishes
Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars
Sweet Treats
Drink Recipes


  1. I can see how you would serve this at your wedding anniversary celebration. Served in martini glasses, the creamy espresso dessert looks extra elegant. Thank you for sharing this recipe, DB =)

  2. Happy Anniversary! I am a huge panna cotta fan and love the espresso flavor of this one. Served in a martini glass it is the perfect shower dessert.

  3. I'm glad I could help you again! It is such a great idea to serve the panna cotta in the martini glasses. It is a nice touch and makes it festive and elegant.

  4. Just beautiful! I am all over any kind of dessert that has espresso in it! I love your recipe!!

  5. I'm a huge panna cotta fan. I would invite you to a shower with these- even if you are a guy! :)

  6. Such a gorgeous presentation that would be welcome at any shower! Happy anniversary to you and your bride!

  7. What a great recipe to do ahead! And your post made me smile... thank you! ;-)

  8. Perfectly scrumptious looking!!!

  9. This is the second recipe for panna cotta I've found today! I think the universe is trying to tell me something. :) I Love Lucy is one of my favorite shows-loved the reference!

  10. I love panna cotta and your espresso panna cotta look so creamy and five-star. Beautiful!

  11. You had me at 'Giada'. Everything she makes is amazing. Also, panna cotta? You win.

  12. I love Panna Cotta add Espresso to it and it has my name all over it :) ~ Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

  13. I Love Lucy is one of my favorite all time shows. Her humor is timeless and still makes me laugh.

    My husband and I used to frequent an Italian restaurant called Ciao when we lived in Kuala Lumpur because they did a great lunch special which included a help-yourself antipasto buffet, a main course and a dessert. I always got the panna cotta. Always. Perhaps it's time to try to make one. Thanks for sharing your lovely recipe and happy anniversary!

  14. Hey - you're LUCKY you don't have to go to these showers, in my opinion :) haha. Love this panna cotta!

  15. I actually haven't eaten panna cotta before and I am excited because apparently it is on the menu at my brother's wedding. (He is getting married in Rome)

  16. You are lucky you don't have to go to showers!!! This panna cotta sounds incredible.

  17. I think it's awesome that you're a part of Sunday Supper - don't let all of us ladies and our estrogen scare you off! And I agree with Megan's comment from above - you're lucky you don't have to go to all the showers and parties for weddings/babies. I go to a minimum of three weddings every year and almost everyone who is close to me has a baby. It gets pretty darn expensive and exhausting to attend so many events! This panna cotta looks delicious and I love the espresso flavour.

  18. Sounds like the perfect finish to the meal! All three courses sound delicious - Ms. Stuntman is very lucky indeed! Happy Anniversary! :)

  19. Wow! This panna cotta looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for visiting and for your sweet words :)


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