Make this impressive espresso panna cotta for a festive dinner party dessert, then check out our profiteroles, sherry trifle, yule log and more Christmas dessert ideas.

For more tips on mastering this classic Italian dessert, read our guide on how to make panna cotta. Also try these recipes for vanilla panna cotta, coconut panna cotta and white chocolate panna cotta.


  • 2 1/2 leaves gelatine
  • 100ml strong black coffee
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 80g demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 100ml strong black coffee
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp kahlua


  • STEP 1

    Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the coffee, milk and cream in a bowl, then pour about a quarter of the liquid into a pan and put over a low heat.

  • STEP 3

    Tip in the sugar and stir until it has dissolved, then remove from the heat.

  • STEP 4

    Squeeze out the gelatine sheets and add them to the pan. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

  • STEP 5

    Strain the warmed liquid through a sieve into the remaining coffee, milk and cream mix. Stir in the vanilla.

  • STEP 6

    Ladle it into 4 serving glasses and put in the fridge. Chill for 4 hours or overnight until set.

  • STEP 7

    To make the coffee syrup, simmer the coffee and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the coffee has thickened.

  • STEP 8

    Stir in the Kahlúa and cool. Just before serving, flood the top of each glass with a little syrup.


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