A perfect Christmas dessert with a super creamy texture and wonderful flavor. Not to mention its undeniably gorgeous plating’s definitely a flawless Instagram material.
This beautiful chocolate pandan panna cotta is a modified version of this pandan coconut panna cotta. So by this time you probably realize I am obsessed with pandan leaves.
What not to love about them? They smell awesome, their color looks absolutely vibrant, and last but not least they are super cheap.
You can achieve the same color by using Japanese green tea powder matcha. But the authentic version of matcha, which originated from Japan, is expensive.
What is the best occasion for this chocolate pandan panna cotta dessert?
As mentioned above, this creamy and delicious panna cotta is a perfect option for Christmas dessert. It has all of the festive factors of the most wonderful time of the year: the taste, the look, and the color.
However, don’t limit this gorgeous dessert for only holiday occasion. Any special event can be counted too. Or you just simply want to show case your creativity and cooking skills, go for it. People will love it.
Furthermore, this panna cotta recipe would make a good selling point on any restaurant dessert menu. I know it because I did have this on the menu a while ago. It is beautiful, it tastes delicious, and it will sell itself without you even need to talk too much about it.
Ingredients for this panna cotta recipe
Pandan leaves – it is a plant growing mainly in South East Asia. Pandan leaves are used in a lot of ways in Asian cuisine. It lends such amazing aromatic and vibrant color to desserts, drinks, and some of other savory dishes.
- You can used both fresh and frozen pandan leaves. They can be easily found at any Asian market. If you’re using frozen leaves, just apply the same process mentioned in the recipe.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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. 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!⅕
- Heat chocolate ganache in a microwave for 10 to 15 seconds if it becomes thicken when refrigerate.
- If you’re using gelatin powder, please read the detailed guide of blooming it here.