This simple dessert couldn’t be easier to prepare and is best when made a day ahead. You can garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans or crumbled chocolate biscotti. In this recipe, the flavorings are the coffee and Sambuca, but you can use the base recipe and flavor it with whatever you want. Or omit the coffee granules and Sambuca entirely to make a plain vanilla version.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso granules
- 1 tablespoon Sambuca or other anise-flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
Heat the milk until just warm to the touch. Sprinkle in the gelatin, and let it dissolve, about 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and sugar over low heat. Cook, stirring, just until the sugar is dissolved and the cream bubbles around the edges, about 4 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, and add the milk mixture, coffee granules, Sambuca, vanilla, and salt. Stir until the coffee and gelatin are dissolved and the mixture is completely smooth.
Pour into eight 5-ounce ramekins, and chill until set, overnight.
To unmold, dip the bottoms of the ramekins in hot water for a few seconds, and loosen the edges with a paring knife. Invert a serving plate over a ramekin and flip, tapping on the bottom to loosen the panna cotta and drop it onto the plate.