White Russian Panna Cotta

This is a gelatinized version of my favorite drink. I drink it black when I’m on a diet and with cream when I don’t count calories (I don’t sip it everyday, don’t you think that :). I adjusted the proportion, since it didn’t quite appeal to me to eat mainly vodka-tasted gelée with a spoon. To make the dessert alcohol-free, simply substitute Kahlua/vodka mixture for lightly sweetened espresso (not quite the same effect though). To make it suitable for pregnant women and children, go with decaffeinated coffee. DO NOT offer the original version to kids; it’s seriously boozy. And for serving, I would suggest chocolate cigar-shaped tuiles, dipped into coffee-infused ganache, perhaps.

Makes 4 3-oz servings (you can make more servings dividing the mixture between smaller shot glasses; this panna cotta is rich, so it should still be enough)

For the Kahlua gelée:

  • 1 oz (30 ml; 2 tbsp) vodka
  • ½ tsp gelatin
  • 3 oz (90 ml; 6 tbsp) Kahlua

For the panna cotta:

  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • ½ tsp gelatin
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for sprinkling
  • Finely grated bittersweet chocolate for sprinkling

Make the Kahlua gelée:

Pour 2 tbsp of vodka into a small bowl or a cup and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let soften for a couple of minutes. Heat in a microwave oven for about 10 seconds on High until the gelatin is dissolved (or dissolve it by placing the cup with the gelatin into a hot water bath). Add the Kahlua, whisk to combine. Divide the mixture equally between small shot glasses (mine were 3-oz capacity; 2 tbsp of Kahlua mixture went into each glass). Place into the fridge until set before topping the gelée with the panna cotta, for at least 1 hour. If you want this tilted effect, place the shot glasses into an empty egg carton.

Make the panna cotta:

Pour 1 tbsp of water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let soften for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is hot. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin; whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Set aside.

Place the sour cream in a liquid-measuring cup (a spout will make the later pouring easy). Add the vanilla extract and whisk to combine and lighten the sour cream. Gradually, whisk in the hot cream-gelatin mixture. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, whisking often, before pouring over the gelée. Pour, dividing it equally, into the shot glasses. Refrigerate until set before serving. Right before serving sprinkle a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg and some grated chocolate over the surface of the panna cotta.

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39 Responses to “White Russian Panna Cotta”

  1. hic! this is yum!

  2. Very original! but I don’t know what is kahlua…

  3. Beautiful and so yummy, i love vodka, i think that is one drink which never gives me headache.
    I am bookmarking this. I have both the rinks at home, never thought of jelliefy them.

  4. Looks beautiful. I love that you gelatinized your favourite drink :D

  5. There are few things I love as much as desserts based on drinks. And white russians are one of my favorites! (I use to keep soy at the bar where I worked so I could go in and have them without feeling sick from real milk. That is foresight!)

  6. Amazing!

  7. Great idea! Looks beautiful, I bet it tastes too good!:)

  8. je note de suite pour essayer cela…ça a l’air tellement bon ! magnifique présentation :)

  9. Lovley! How did you get those glasses on that bottle????

  10. Oh, you have gone and blended my favorite dessert with my favorite drink. Fabulous!

  11. WOW! Absolutely stunning and a brilliant idea!

  12. Oh My !
    Oh My !
    Oh My !
    I love the idea
    I love the photo
    I love the recipe :)
    Thank you Vera !

  13. I’m sure all my friends would love it!

  14. I wonder how many I could eat!!! They’re lovely, I love pannacotta and kalua so they’re perfect!

  15. What a great idea. I love White Russians!

  16. Such a wonderful idea…I love pannacota and with Kalua…cannot go wrong. The pictures are great!

  17. Such a fabulour picture!!!!!!

  18. i don’t enjoy many alcoholic beverages, but the white russian is one that i can definitely tolerate (in moderation). this is a great variation of it–the more decadent, the better!

  19. Pretty dessert! Too boozy for my present state though ;)

  20. Man I love this! Elegant, (the boozier the better, I say) and so full of flavor. I’m definitely going to give these a try…


  21. What a great and creative recipe, I love it. Very fancy, for a dinner dessert.
    My first visit here,and your blog is awesome

  22. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments! I do greatly appreciate it!

  23. Dominique, Kahlua is a coffee-flavored liqueur.

  24. Oh my goodness. These pana cottas look AMAZING. Why drink a white Russian when I could have this fabulous dessert? They’re gorgeous, and I bet they’re absolutely delicious. How clever!

  25. oh my ,these look perfect!

  26. Elyse, Leslie, thank you very much!

  27. I need a shot…& very soon! Vera, this is mmmmmm, & wickedly so! Much love to you!

  28. Vera, this is incredible! I love panna cotta, especially with a contrasting flavor and texture.

  29. Deeba, April, thank you very much!

  30. What a great idea. It looks delicious.

  31. The Food Hunter, thank you!

  32. creative concept!
    i wonder how you managed to put those glasses there, did you use a glue or something?

  33. Hi,

    I don’t think I’ll get Kahlua here in India easily. Can I use following substitute?

    Replace vodka with scotch (I love scotch :))
    Replace 90ml Kahlua with 90ml dark coffee (bit sweetened though)/
    with some fruit juice (non-acidic like mango/lychee)

    Is mixing scotch with fruit juice safe?

  34. Vinit, don’t add fruit juice, use sweetened coffee with more scotch.

  35. Thanks Vera :)
    Scotch and fruit juices doesn’t get along each other?
    Can I use fruit juice w/o any alcohol?

  36. Vinit, you are welcome. Fruit juice and coffee together don’t appeal to me :) Sure, you can add booze to fruit juices without a problem.

  37. Thanks Vera, yeah I was talking about booze+juices :) not certainly coffee :D

  38. The ingredients call for 2 tbsp vodka, but the directions say to sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tbsp and don’t mention the other one. Add it once the gelatin has dissolved?

  39. Warren, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tbsp of vodka. I’ll correct the recipe, thank you for pointing it out.

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