panna cotta won't set in europe...?

I've recently moved to Spain from Texas, and am having trouble with what I had considered a fail-safe yogurt panna cotta (shoutout!). I've made it twice here (and a half dozen times in the states), and the first time it took over 12 hours to set, and this time it looks like it might be liquid permanently...gelatin packages here are in powder, and in the states, and they are six grams instead of seven. i didn't think that would prevent such a quick-setting dessert from working at all, normally takes about two hours. I don't know how fridge temperature compares. I have gone from high altitude (5000 feet) to sea level,,but didnt think that would matter. could gelatin somehow not be as strong here? does one gram matter that much?

Erin Aguayo


Shuna L. October 8, 2014
Gelatin is sensitive to temperatures - did it get whisked into hot or warm or boiling or boiled liquid? Gelatin is definitely not the same the world over, and so is best measured by weight instead of volume. If your pannacotta in the States took only 2 hours to completely set, your ratio of gelatin : liquid was high, and your fridge was super cold. As an example, for a very firm gel I use 2 grams gelatin to 100 grams liquid, but for something more like soft-set pannacotta, I would use 2 grams gelatin to 300 grams liquid - but I use leaf gelatin and I don't want a very firm set because I prefer the taste of dairy over the flavor of gelatin. I hope this helps. You may want to make friends with a local pastry chef or restaurant/bakery owner, and ask to purchase some of what they use in their kitchens. Good luck!
caninechef October 8, 2014
I know nothing about panna cotta so look it up and I found reference to the bloom of geletin, which is an indication of the strength of geletin. So it does indeed sound reasonable that gelatin in Spain and Texas are diferent. But presumably reading directions on the package as suggested will solve the problem.
Andrea October 7, 2014
Hi Erin,
I live at sea level in the UK and use gelatin on a regular basis to set panna cotta, so I don't think it's a regional issue. I prefer the leaf version to the powder one although it can be a bit more hit and miss when it comes to the final consistency. I can't imagine there being a big difference between fridge temperatures or the quality of the gelatin in Texas and Spain so I would measure the liquid you want to set and then compare it with how much a sachet of gelatin sets (it usually says so on it) and figure out the required amount this way. For panna cotta I prefer a softer consistency so I usually use slightly less than it says on the packet.
Happy experimenting!
Erin A. October 8, 2014
thanks! as simple as "read the package" sounds, i hadn't thought of it. will do.
Recommended by Food52