Chocolate Pannacotta with Vegetarian alternative for Gelatine

Chocolate Panna Cotta garnished with white chocolate curls served in glasses

My first introduction to Panna cotta has been online, a couple of years ago with a countless shares from so many people on Facebook, websites, blog and what not..  A couple of further reads online led me into an understanding that Panna cotta is a traditional Italian dessert that is made with sweetened cream ,thickened with gelatine and moulded.


It is such a fun dessert that can be tailored and altered with the right proportion of liquid to Gelatine / Settling agent. I haven’t blogged about it before, but the Panna cotta bug has caught me . I have made this slurping dessert – 5 times in One month..

My missy who is finally ‘Three’ – the trouble maker phase , loves her Nestle’s Rolo Dessert pots. They are creamy chocolately with caramel centred in the little tubs. Every trip to the super giants and we have them coming home…  Couple of month’s passed by and I am not very pleased buying them for the little lady all the time.. It was then the pan cotta idea struck my mind !!!

Chocolate Panna Cotta garnished with white chocolate curls served in glasses

I so wished I had an Indian store, locally to buy agar agar and make the dessert. Driving 7 miles just to buy 1 single ingredient is something that I would never do . Rather decided I will settle in for Gelatine .

Being a vegetarian by birth and choice, Gelatine is not in my best cooking ingredient. It is not that I wouldn’t have any gummy bears or jelly’s if someone offer’s me. But I am not happy about buying them . Having said this, If I am left with no option easily available I might end up buying them too.

Chocolate Panna Cotta garnished with white chocolate curls served in glasses

Browsing through the section of Baking Ingredients, next to Gelatine, I came across something that said Vege Gel. I actually could not believe it that we have a vegetarian gelatine too.. Rubbed my eyes, carefully read through the ingredients and it did mention about using them for desserts and an option for vegetarians… Hurrayy !! Dr Oetker’s product just came handy, right in time :).
Can u believe it .. that day the panna cotta was a close match  in flavours . She approved the whole thingy when it was ready  and commented in her own baby lingo – ” Chocolate Powder is fantastic ! ” For some weirdo reasons, she calls the dessert as Chocolate Powder.

Here’s my take on this traditional Italian Dessert !

Makes 8 small servings

Chocolate Panna Cotta garnished with white chocolate curls and shards served in glasses


270 ml Double Cream
100 ml Whole Milk
100 gms dark chocolate, roughly chopped
80 gms Caster sugar
1 Packet of Vege-Gel 
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Garnish :
Chocolate Shards – Make them at home
White chocolate curls
  • Prepare your glasses/ ramekins to be filled, before you start the whole process. Once the settling agent is added, one needs to act quickly.
  • Empty the sachet of the Vege Gel into 200 ml of cold water. Stir until it dissolves .
  • In a sauce pan, bring together cream,milk and sugar and heat them in medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Turn off the flame and add the chopped chocolates and vanilla extract. Whisk them or use a laddle and stir until completely incorporated. At this stage add the vege gel – water mixture and heat them until they just begin to boil.
  • Pour them swiftly into the prepared glasses one by one. Refrigerate them over nite or for atleast 5-6 hours to set before you serve. Garnish them with White chocolate curls and Shards. This is entirely your imagination.. If you have some berries, garnish them with it and dust some cocoa powder.
* Note : 1 packet of Vege Gel can set upto 570 ml of liquid.
If you are looking to use Gelatine, dissolve the gelatine as per the instructions.


50 gm of Dark Chocolate
1 Tblspn of Demerara Sugar ( can use regular granulated sugar too )
Directions :

  • Prepare a double boiler for melting the chocolates. Place the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water and allow to melt, stirring often. Place a 16-inch-long parchment paper on your work surface.  Once the chocolate is melted add the sugar and give it a good mix. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using an offset spatula, spread it in a thin and even layer, about 1/3 of an inch off each edge. Place a second sheet of same-sized parchment paper on top and gently press to release the air bubbles. Starting with one short end, roll the parchment paper tightly into an-inch-wide tube. Place it seam side down on a rimmed baking tray and chill in the refrigerator until set, for at least 2 hours.
  • Have a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready and remove the tube from the refrigerator. Unroll the tube in one quick motion, which creates the chocolate shards. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and with the help of a large offset spatula go underneath the pieces, pick them up and transfer them to the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe Adapted from here** I was not paid or sent any products to mention this Dr Oetker’s Veg Gel Product. I found it convenient and thought it was a great idea to share it with my readers.


Freelancer Food Photographer, Recipe Developer & Food Stylist

Comments (12)

  • Sandhya,
    You're one of the bloggers I love and admire. I love these pannacotta shots more than anything, but I won't serve them in a tea caddy as it is more of a dessert. My favorite is 2,3,4 and 5. I am also not a big fan of mismatched cutlery – that being said that rose spoon is envy-worthy (I wish I had that). If you had more of that, how about you style with them? These are just a friendly suggestion.
    Once again, these pictures say thousand words!
    Love and Hugs

  • Amazing clicks Sandhya. I was scolling up and down the post drooling over the clicks. I love pannacotta too and make it quite often. Luckily I have an Asian store close by that sells agar powder and I always make sure I have some in the pantry. Good for you to find the veg gelatin in your local store.

  • What a gorgeous post Sandhya. I'm not much of a dessert person but I'm in love with panna cottas.
    Love the idea of serving it in glasses and those spoons are gorgeous! I have been eyeing on such vintage cutlery for a long time now..:D

  • nice share i will try your recipe at home

  • I am so happy you liked my recipe! I love panna cotta, it is one of my favourite deeserts ever as it can be made with almost any flavour! I really like your photos and the way you styled the panna cotta! <3

  • My What a gorgeous dessert!!! Loved the photography and the styling.. I must start looking for a tea caddy now 🙂

  • That rose spoon and that empty glass… panacotta is always a delight to have! Everything about the dessert is just yummy…

  • It looks superb!Thanks for sharing!

  • lovely yummy dessert

  • I am a vegetarian too and i face the same problem with gelatine too. Though i eat preparations with gelatine outside.. i try to avoid cooking with it at home.. I will try this recipe soon.. as always amazing clicks!!

  • These are gorgeous Sandhya!! n what pretty pictures!

  • Nice blog…thanks for sharing…its very interesting…


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