Twenty four years ago in Portland Oregon I ordered a Mocha Valencia at Starbucks, it was a flavor explosion of chocolate and orange, and ever since that first taste I’ve been hooked. It’s a decadent match made in heaven!
Over the past years I have come to appreciate and love dark chocolate, I use to be a milk chocolate girl only, but now it doesn’t do anything for me, in fact it tastes way too sweet. With rich dark chocolate, a little piece goes a long way and definitely satisfies my sweet tooth.
I decided to make a panna cotta using my two favorite flavor combinations, chocolate and orange. Panna cotta means “cooked cream” it’s a very simple and luxurious dessert to make with just a few ingredients. All you have to do is simmer cream and sugar together, mix in some flavors and add gelatin to make it set.
A family member gave me some gelatin sheets she brought back from Italy, but in all honesty I was clueless on how many sheets to use in an American recipe, I tried twice and each time my panna cotta was like rubber, the spoon wouldn’t even go in! So on the third time I gave up and used good old Knox brand made in the U.S.A.
Now if chocolate and orange is not your thing, here’s some other chocolate combinations you might like instead from my archives.
Happy Valentines Day!
- 2 cups, plus ¼ cup of half and half or heavy cream
- 1 envelop of KNOX gelatin
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4½ oz. chopped dark chocolate, 70%
- zest of 1 orange
- ¼ teaspoon of pure orange extract or Grand Marnier
- orange zest and flaky sea salt for garnish
- Pour the ¼ cup of cream into a bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top, set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a pan place the remaining 2 cups of cream, sugar, zest and extract and bring to a simmer. Remove off heat when edges start to bubble.
- Whisk in chocolate pieces until well combined and glossy.
- Add in gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
- Pour into desired vessels and chill at least 2 or more hours in the fridge.
- Garnish with orange peel and salt when ready to eat.
- You will get at least 4 to 5 servings.