Cook's Hideout: Chocolate Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

April 23, 2013

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

Blogging Marathon: Week 3/ Day 8
Theme: Seasonal Dishes - Winter Dessert
Dish: Chocolate Panna Cotta without Gelatin (with Agar Agar)
This is a rich chocolaty dessert that is perfect for a holiday party. I was always under the impression that Panna Cotta is a fancy and very "gourmet" dessert. But come to find out it is quite simple to make and what better time than the holidays to serve this sinfully rich dish.
With a house full of chocolate lovers, my obvious choice was to make chocolate panna cotta. I used agar agar powder  instead of gelatin to make a completely vegetarian dish. Agar Agar or China grass needs be dissolved in hot liquids in order for it to gel or set.
Heavy Cream - 1¼cups
Milk - 1¼cups (I used 2% milk, whole milk will work, don not use 1% or skim here)
Agar Agar powder (China grass) - ½tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup (increase or reduce as per taste)
Semisweet Chocolate - 3oz., finely chopped
Vanilla extract - 1tsp

  • Keep 6-½cup molds/ ramekins/ bowls ready. 
  • Combine heavy cream, milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan; bring the mixture to a boil. 
  • Lower the heat and add the agar powder. Whisk vigorously until it completely dissolves; simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and then stir in chopped chocolate. Whisk well to melt the chocolate.
  • Next add the vanilla and mix again.
  • Pour the mixture into the selected molds/ bowls. Cool a little bit, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, dip the mold in hot water and run a sharp paring knife around the edges and then invert onto the serving plate.
Serve with strawberry sauce (recipe follows) and/or whipping cream and/or vanilla ice cream and some grated chocolate.
Strawberry Sauce:
This sauce is very simple to make and can be used on ice creams, pancakes and just about anything that needs some sweet, fruity goodness.

Strawberries - 1 pint, hulled and roughly chopped
Sugar - 3tbsp (adjust according to the sweetness of the strawberries)
Strawberry Jam - 2tbsp

  • Combine the berries, sugar and ¼ cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the jam and then cook for another 3 minutes. If you want a smoother sauce, blend the mixture. I left the berries whole this time.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use as needed.
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for BM# 27.


  1. i want to make this for my son's birthday next month, was thinking of gelatine earlier, but will try a batch with agar agar, photos look amazing

  2. lovely Panna cotta..and my favorite flavor too... in fact have made chocolate Panna cotta for groovy gourmets..and strawberry sauce...what a coincidence..

  3. Very delightful,attractive,gorgeous,pretty irresistible pannacotta, that too with that strawberry sauce,panna cotta looks divine.

  4. Looks so good. I have agar agar flaky noodle and I have tough time managing with them..I should try to powder them and use it, right?

  5. Oooooooo! awesome. Love this. and your pics are mindblowing

  6. Wow such pretty pictures Pavani..I agree with house full of chocolate lovers and makes I might end up making this as well..:)

  7. Absolutely delicious one..looks so tempting and makes me drool..fantastic clicks and loved the way you captured..

  8. Lovely clicks. I prepare pannacotta with agar agar only and love it

  9. Just want to dig into it. Somehow I haven't tried agar agar so far and so never ventured into this panna cotta world. :)


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