Coffee-Lemon Panna Cotta Parfait

April 18, 2011


Author Notes: This is my adaptation of an old Claudia Fleming recipe that I first served at a dinner party years ago to rave reviews. The original was fabulous, but a touch sweet for my taste, so I’ve pulled some sugar from the dish, and swapped a lemon panna cotta for Claudia’s original orange to introduce a little more brightness and acidity (I also find the lemon to be a more interesting complement to coffee than orange). Her dish consisted of a base layer of coffee panna cotta, which I have modified to mocha with the help of a little bittersweet chocolate. Finally, rather than sandwich the coffee gelee in between the panna cotta layers as she did, I place it on top with the lemon panna cotta in the middle, this guarantees a little lemon with each bite of coffee, which I think is important to the balance of the dish. Might want to watch the kidlets around this one, it’ll get them buzzing.....
Oui, Chef

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream, separated
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, separated
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA micro-ground coffee, separated
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon microplaned lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatin, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Prepare 6 martini or parfait glasses for your desserts.
  2. For the MOCHA panna cotta, take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and place it in a small bowl, sprinkle the cream with 1 teaspoon of the powdered gelatin and let sit 5-10 minutes to hydrate. Take an additional 1 1/4 cups of the cream and place it in a small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA micro-ground coffee (I use Italian Roast VIA). Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to melt the sugar and incorporate the coffee. Turn the heat to low and add the cream and gelatin mix, whisk until the gelatin is fully melted, then pull from the heat and toss in the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Let sit about 1 minute to allow the chocolate to melt a little, then whisk to fully incorporate. Pour the finished mix through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof liquid measuring cup, then carefully pour (equally) into each of the six prepared glasses. Cover each with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for about an hour for the gelatin to set.
  3. For the LEMON panna cotta, take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and place it in a small bowl, sprinkle the cream with 1 teaspoon of the powdered gelatin and let sit 5-10 minutes to hydrate. Take an additional 1 cup of the cream and place it in a small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar,1 tablespoon of micro-planed lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to melt the sugar and incorporate the lemon and vanilla. Turn the heat to low and add the cream and gelatin mix, whisk until the gelatin is fully melted, then pull from the heat. Pour the finished mix into a heatproof liquid measuring cup, then let it come to just above room temperature (if its too hot when you add it to the glass, it may melt your first set layer of panna cotta) before removing the glasses from the fridge and carefully pouring (equally) into each of the six prepared glasses to form a second layer of panna cotta. If you wish to remove the lemon zest before adding it to the glass, you may pour the mix through a fine mesh strainer before proceeding (I like the texture and taste of the zest in the final dish, so I skip this straining step). Cover each with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for about another hour for the gelatin to set.
  4. For the COFFEE gelee, take 1/4 cup of water and place it in a small bowl, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the powdered gelatin and let sit 5-10 minutes to hydrate. Take an additional 3/4 cups of water and place it in a small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA micro-ground coffee (I use Italian Roast VIA). Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to melt the sugar and incorporate the coffee. Turn the heat to low and add the water and gelatin mix, whisk until the gelatin is fully melted, then pull from the heat. Pour the finished mix into a heatproof liquid measuring cup, then let it come to just above room temperature (if its too hot when you add it to the glass, it may melt your second set layer of panna cotta) before removing the glasses from the fridge and carefully pouring (equally) into each of the six prepared glasses to form the final layer of the dessert. Cover each with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for about an hour for the gelatin to set.
  5. Serve slightly cool or at room temperature, not straight from the fridge.

More Great Recipes:
Milk/Cream|Lemon|Lemon Juice|Chocolate|Coffee|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Dessert

Reviews (28) Questions (0)

28 Reviews

Carey L. September 22, 2017
I made these last night for company that's arriving today. They look almost as beautiful as the ones in the photo above - can't wait to find out how they taste!!! It was definitely easier than I thought to prepare such a beautiful looking dessert!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. September 23, 2017
Terrific, can't wait to hear what you all thought once you tasted them!
 
Carey L. September 23, 2017
Mmmmmm, really good! The presentation definitely wowed my guest! The coffee gelee layer was close to too overwhelming but i can adjust that for my tastes next time. I loooooved the lemon vanilla layer :)
 
hardlikearmour April 27, 2011
This is ridiculous! It could be dessert at any great restaurant, and you make it very accessible.
 
lastnightsdinner April 23, 2011
These are absolutely gorgeous! And I love the combo of coffee and lemon.
 
Emiko April 21, 2011
These look like the perfect thing for a summer party, can't wait to try them out!
 
wssmom April 21, 2011
This is SPECTACULAR!!
 
Lizthechef April 19, 2011
GORGEOUS!
 
Bevi April 19, 2011
These are beautiful.
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks, Bevi. They are nice to look at, and even better to EAT.
 
lapadia April 19, 2011
Awesome presentation, Oui! Oh, and congrats on your recent Book Two win!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks so much, Lapadia.
 
gingerroot April 18, 2011
Gorgeous and sounds divine!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Merci beaucoup.
 
fiveandspice April 18, 2011
Yum. I just love the combination of lemon and coffee. These look splendid - and so fancy for guests! :)
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks, fiveandspice. The real beauty of these is that while they look fancy, they are SO easy to make. Crafting each layer takes only minutes, the only bit that takes any time is the waiting between layers for the gelatin to set.
 
singing_baker April 18, 2011
Looks delicious and I love the presentation in the martini glasses!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
It's funny but I never use them for martinis, just desserts. Kinda sad now that I'm thinking about it.
 
dymnyno April 18, 2011
Hmm...I have always found orange and coffee to be a perfect match, but, I will give your combo a try....very pretty presentation!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
I hope you do, dymnyno, I think you'll like it.
 
drbabs April 18, 2011
wow
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks, doc!
 
EmilyC April 18, 2011
Ahh...I made the Claudia Fleming recipe a few years ago...what a lovely recipe and a great cookbook. Your variation sounds great -- perhaps I'll dust off the old martini glasses and give it a whirl! I've recently started using Starbucks VIA in place of espresso powder. It's a good substitute and easy to come by.
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks, EmilyC...the VIA really is great for a dish like this.
 
mrslarkin April 18, 2011
Lovely!
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thank you, as always, mrslarkin.
 
Sagegreen April 18, 2011
Very elegant, indeed.
 
Author Comment
Oui, C. April 19, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen. Who ever said, fancy, plated desserts should only be served in restaurants!