Nutella & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

This layered panna cotta is as delicious as it is beautiful. The first layer is a creamy nutella panna cotta and the second layer is a creamy vanilla panna cotta speckled with vanilla beans. Whether you serve them individually as pictured or in a big bowl, it’s best to serve in something transparent so you can see the contrasting layers. Enjoy this easy, beautiful, and fun dessert any time of year.

I became obsessed with panna cotta after my time in France. I lived mostly in Nice, which is a coastal city close to the border of Italy. Occasionally we’d take the train or drive over to Italy for the day to shop, wander through the markets, and eat! Whether I went with my friends from Alliance Française or with Fabien’s family, I always tried to eat a panna cotta while we were there. 

Today’s recipe combines two of Italy’s strengths: Nutella and Panna Cotta. If you’re unfamiliar with either, Nutella is a hazelnut chocolate spread, similar in texture and usability as a smooth peanut butter. Panna cotta is an Italian custard dessert that’s thickened with gelatin. It’s usually served topped with caramel, fruit coulis, or coffee. I love these variations: Mango Panna Cotta and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis.

I honestly get the most excited for the incorporation of a Nutella layer. I love Nutella! Also, a result of my time living in France. Nutella anything is my husband’s favorite so I’ve become well-versed in incorporating it into my baking hobby. You’re welcome, Fabien! Check out some of these Nutella options on my site!  My favorite are Nutella Brownie Tartlets, Nutella Mousse, or the Nutella Christmas Tree.

This layered panna cotta is as delicious as it is beautiful. The first layer is a creamy nutella panna cotta and the second layer is a creamy vanilla panna cotta speckled with vanilla beans. Whether you serve them individually as pictured or in a big bowl, it’s best to serve in something transparent so you can see the contrasting layers. 

While custards might be daunting to make, this recipe is a great place to start. It’s incredibly easy. In fact, it essentially makes itself. You essentially are just stirring ingredients and letting them sit in the refrigerator. And then you get to enjoy! While perfect to make during the holiday season, you can really enjoy this recipe any time of year. 

Nutella & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

This layered panna cotta is as delicious as it is beautiful. The first layer is a creamy nutella panna cotta and the second layer is a creamy vanilla panna cotta speckled with vanilla beans. Whether you serve them individually as pictured or in a big bowl, it's best to serve in something transparent so you can see the contrasting layers. Enjoy this easy, beautiful, and fun dessert any time of year.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

Nutella Layer

  • 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Gelatin, powdered
  • 1 tbsp. Cold water
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

Vanilla Layer

  • 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Gelatin, powdered
  • 1 tbsp. Cold water
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Decide what style serving bowl you want to use: To serve 4 people, take out 4 wine glasses, goblets, or decorative bowls. To serve 6-8 people, take out 6-8 small ramekins. It’s nice if you have glass ramekins so you can see the different layers of panna cotta, but any will suffice.
  • Make the Nutella layer by adding the water to a measuring cup that you can easily pour from. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the water and let set for a few minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm the cream and sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the Nutella and mix well. Be careful not to let the cream boil.
  • Pour the cream mixture into the measuring cup with the gelatin and mix, ensuring that the gelatin has melted. Pour the mixture into your prepared serving bowls and refrigerate immediately.
  • Let set for a few hours before starting your vanilla layer. Keep the measuring cup and saucepan handy so you can reuse later when you repeat the process with the vanilla layer.
  • To make the vanilla layer, follow the same instructions but instead of adding Nutella, add the vanilla bean paste. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract (it burns off and loses flavor if cooked over the heat).
  • Wait until the mixture has cooled to room temperature before pouring over the Nutella layer. Place in the refrigerator for another several hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

*Vanilla bean paste adds little vanilla specks which is so nice. Vanilla extract or the insides of one half of a vanilla bean can be used as an alternative.
Recipe inspired by Pretty Little Crumbs.
Keyword custard, custards, nutella, nutella and vanilla bean panna cotta, nutella and vanilla dessert, nutella dessert, nutella panna cotta, panna cotta, vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla bean dessert, vanilla beans

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