Chocolate Panna Cotta Parfaits Recipe

Chocolate panna cotta, a classic Italian dessert, is a rich and creamy dessert that combines the smoothness of cream with the indulgence of chocolate. If you're a chocolate lover, this dish is a dream dessert.

chocolate panna cotta recipe

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Panna cotta is an elegant and impressive dessert that is perfect for special occasions or dinner parties. It has a smooth and glossy appearance that can be beautifully presented in individual serving dishes, making it a visually appealing dessert that will impress your guests.

one parfait glass with filling

Tips for making the chocolate panna cotta recipe:

While this dessert may sound fancy, it's actually quite simple to make. This recipe will walk you through how to make chocolate panna cotta at home.


I prefer to make this recipe with heavy cream, which gives it its rich and luxurious texture. Some recipes use half-and-half or whole milk, but this results in a lighter, less creamy version. My recipe uses the following:

  • Heavy cream: the cream is used both in the panna cotta and the chocolate ganache topping
  • Powdered gelatin and cold water: Gelatin is used to set the panna cotta and give it its firm texture. Cold water is used to dissolve the gelatin before adding it to the cream mixture.
  • Chocolate: use a finely chopped dark chocolate. Small chocolate pieces melt more easily in the hot cream.
  • Granulated sugar
dark chocolate bar


What options do I have to decorate the chocolate panna cotta?

There are many options to add some decor to the top of this dessert: add fresh berries, drizzle with caramel or peanut butter sauce, add toasted nuts for a bit of crunch, etc....

What type of glasses should I use to make the parfaits?

Chances are you probably have serving dishes that the panna cotta will look nice in. Use tall glasses, ramekins or martini glasses.

chocolate panna cotta recipe

Chocolate Panna Cotta Parfaits

5 from 37 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Setting Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 6 ounce parfaits glasses


  • 6 Parfait Glasses (6 ounces)


Chocolate Panna Cotta

  • 1 tablespoon Powdered Gelatin
  • 2 tablespoon Cold Water (to sprinkle gelatin over)
  • 3 Cups Heavy Cream
  • Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Ounces Dark Chocolate finely chopped

Ganache Topping

  • 3 Fluid Ounces Heavy Cream
  • 5 Ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped finely


Chocolate Panna Cotta

  • Sprinkle powdered gelatin over the cold water. Set aside to allow gelatin to set.
  • Place cream and granulated sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching the cream.
  • Remove from heat as soon as the cream begins to boil.
  • Add gelatin to the cream mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Add the chocolate to the cream mixture. Let the chocolate and cream rest for 5 minutes then stir until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a heat-proof measuring cup and distribute evenly between the 6 parfait glasses.
  • Place parfaits in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to set.

Ganache Topping (add after the panna cotta has set)

  • Heat heavy cream to a low boil. Pour over chocolate pieces and let sit for 5 minutes). Stir until smooth.
  • Pour chocolate ganache over the panna cotta in the parfait glasses. Place parfait glasses in fridge until ready to serve.
Keyword chocolate dessert parfaits, chocolate panna cotta, panna cotta
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