Super creamy and very flavorful are all I can say about these chocolate pandan panna cotta. From everyday dessert to elegant Christmas dessert idea, this unique pandan leaves recipe can surely satisfy all your needs.
This beautiful chocolate pandan panna cotta is a sister recipe of this pandan coconut panna cotta and this creamy coconut panna cotta. Yup, I am obsessed with pandan leaves and everything related with them.
Don't get intimidate by the green color of this panna cotta. It is is 100% natural and made from the famous Asian plant called: pandan leaves.
What are pandan leaves?
Pandan leaves, or common known as pandan, are widely popular in Southeast Asia.
These leaves have unique fragrant and color which make them the number one choice when it comes to flavoring or coloring food naturally.
They lend such amazing aromatic and vibrant color to desserts, drinks, and some of other savory dishes.
If you're looking for a pandan leaves recipe, this chocolate pandan panna cotta is such a perfect pick.
What to love about this recipe?
As mentioned above, this creamy and delicious panna cotta is a perfect elegant Christmas dessert idea due to its unique look.
However, don't limit this gorgeous dessert for holiday or Christmas occasion only.
This pandan leaves recipe can actually used for any occasion.
Or you just simply want to show case your creativity and cooking skills, go for it. People will love it.
Pandan leaves - You can buy them fresh, dry or even frozen from any Asian market (or Amazon).
Gelatin sheets - I prefer using gelatin sheets over gelatin powder. You can read more info about types of gelatin sheets/gelatin powder and how to use them here.
- I'm using Gold gelatin sheets in this chocolate pandan panna cotta recipe.
Heavy cream and milk - do not substitute cream for milk or half and half. I repeat do not substitute. The appearance of heavy cream in this panna cotta recipe is the reason to make it super creamy.
- If you want super rich panna cotta, go ahead and substitute milk with the same amount.
Sugar - I used just enough amount of sugar to add a hint of sweetness to this dessert. So to some people, it might not be sweet enough. You're welcome to adjust the sugar level based on your personal references.
- Keep in mind that the chocolate ganache will also add some sweetness to the panna cotta.
Chocolate chips - make chocolate ganache and pour on top of panna cotta to create such Christmas tree effect
How to make chocolate ganache
You'll need to set up a bain-marie or a double boiler in order to successfully make this ganache. If you're own a bain-marie, well then this process is easy.
If not, don't worry, you can always improvise. Just use a regular pot, fill half way with water. Then put a mixing bowl on top of it. And make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water when it is boiling.
The process of making chocolate ganache includes:
- Combine heavy cream and chocolate chip and melt it over a double boiler.
- Adjust the heat so that boiling water don't touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Remove the mixture off the heat source and gradually add unsalted butter in to melt.
- If the ganache starts cooling down which makes it harder to melt butter, return the mixture to double boiler for few seconds.
How to make pandan chocolate panna cotta
Time needed: 6 hours and 30 minutes.
Here are the steps to make this elegant Christmas dessert idea
- Blend pandan leaves
Roughly chop pandan leaves. In a blender, add chopped pandan leaves and water. Blend on high speed until pandan leaves completely blended, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
Use a sieve and strain the liquid. Use a spoon and press as much water you can take from pandan leftover pulp. Keep the liquid and pulp separately.
- Bloom gelatin
Bloom gelatin sheets in ice cold water for 1 minute or until all the sheets are soften.
- Cook milk mixture
In a medium sauce pan, combine cream, milk, sugar, and pandan juice. Put pandan leftover pulp in a cooking sachet bag or tight tightly in a coffee filter (this step is optional). Heat the pan on medium heat (you'll see bubbles appear on the edge of the pot). Stir occasionally until sugar dissolve completely and the mixture start to simmer.
Do not let the mixture boil or it will be separated. Discard the pandan pulp (if used).
Squeeze excess water out of gelatin sheet then put them in the mixture. Stir the mixture until all the gelatin sheets dissolved completely. Take the pan off the stove immediately.
- Pour into molds
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve mesh than ladle it into molds. Let the panna cotta cool down at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then put them into the fridge to set at least 6 hours, uncover or partially cover.
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Chocolate Pandan Panna Cotta
- 4-oz plastic or silicon mold
For panna cotta
- 2 c heavy cream
- 1 c milk
- 7 sheet gelatin or 2 tbsp gelatin powder
- 3 oz sugar
- ½ c water
- 1.5 oz pandan leaves ~ 10 to 15 leaves
- ½ c dark chocolate chip
- ½ c heavy cream
- 1 oz unsalted butter cut into small cubes, leave at room temperature
- mint leaves
- fresh fruit: grapes, raspberry, blueberry
For panna cotta
- Roughly chop pandan leaves. In a blender, add chopped pandan leaves and water. Blend on high speed until pandan leaves completely blended, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.1.5 oz pandan leaves, ½ c water
- Use a sieve and strain the liquid. Use a spoon and press as much water you can take from pandan leftover pulp. Keep the liquid and pulp separately.
- Bloom gelatin sheets in ice cold water.7 sheet gelatin
- In a medium sauce pan, combine cream, milk, sugar, and pandan juice. Put pandan leftover pulp in a cooking sachet bag or tight tightly in a coffee filter (this step is optional).2 c heavy cream, 1 c milk, 3 oz sugar
- Heat the pan on medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolve completely and the mixture start to simmer.
- Do not let the mixture boil or it will be separated. Discard the pandan pulp.
- Squeeze excess water out of gelatin sheet then put them in the mixture. Stir the mixture until all the gelatin sheets dissolved completely. Take the pan off the stove immediately.
- Lightly spray cooking oil inside the molds.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve mesh than ladle it into molds. Let the panna cotta cool down at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then put them into the fridge to set at least 6 hours, uncover or partially cover.
- When the panna cotta are completely set, wrap each of them tightly with plastic wrap. The panna cotta can be kept for up to 4 days under refrigeration.
For chocolate ganache
- Set up a double boiler: a medium pot fill half way with water and a mixing bowl on top. The bottom of the mixing bowl should not touch the water when its boiling.
- Add chocolate chips and heavy cream in a mixing bowl and melt over boiling water. Stir occasionally.½ c dark chocolate chip, ½ c heavy cream
- When chocolate chips are melted completely, take the mixing bowl off the heat. Add butter cubes in the mixture, one at a time, stir to incorporate butter with chocolate mixture.1 oz unsalted butter
- Continue to work through the last piece of butter cubes. If the chocolate mixture starts cooling down, return it to the boiling pot for a few seconds before adding more butter.
- Store the ganache in an airtight container. It can be kept for up to 4 days under refrigeration.
- Unmold panna cotta and carefully pour enough chocolate ganache on top. Add your favorite fresh fruit and mint leaves for garnish. Enjoy!⅕mint leaves, fresh fruit: grapes, raspberry, blueberry
- Heat chocolate ganache in a microwave for 10 to 15 seconds if it becomes thicken after refrigerated.
- If you're using gelatin powder, please read the detailed guide of blooming it here.