Deep Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta with Orange

dark chocolate panna cotta with orange 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!

chocolate panna cotta ingredients 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.

dark chocolate panna cotta Did I tell you that I’m also obsessed with sea salt and chocolate? The flaky kind… Oh my!

dark chocolate panna cotta Grab some dark chocolate and make this for your special Valentine.

dark chocolate panna cotta Rich and indulgent with every swipe of your spoon!

Now if chocolate and orange is not your thing, here’s some other chocolate combinations you might like instead from my archives.


chocolate ricotta tart CHOCOLATE RICOTTA TART

triple chocolate scones TRIPLE CHOCOLATE SCONES

flourless chocolate hazelnut cake FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE and HAZELNUT CAKE


Happy Valentines Day!

Deep Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta with Orange
  • 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
  1. Pour the ¼ cup of cream into a bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top, set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Whisk in chocolate pieces until well combined and glossy.
  4. Add in gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
  5. Pour into desired vessels and chill at least 2 or more hours in the fridge.
  6. Garnish with orange peel and salt when ready to eat.
  7. You will get at least 4 to 5 servings.


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  1. Marie – Those gelatin sheets can be tricky to use in American recipes so it’s good you went back to your Knox. This dessert looks sure to please anyone at anytime, but it would be really nice to make for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and orange is a winner in my book. Well, actually, I’d take any of those other treats on this post too.

  2. Oh my, but it all looks so good! When ever I see mention of KNOX gelatine I think back to when I was a teenager. Do you remember how we all thought it would make us have gorgeous long nails? Funny the memories things can trigger…

    These desserts all look wonderful. And I’m with you on the chocolate and orange combo. It really is so very good. Thanks for some serious inspiration! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. First I want to say how beautiful and delicious looking your panna cotta looks. Actually it all looks good and I am not a chocolate lover. Thanks for the information regarding gelatin sheets. I did not know there would be a problem with American recipes vs. all other.


  4. Marie, this looks sinfully good! Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

    I always use Knox Gelatin when I make Panna Cotta, and I chuckled at Adri’s comment because I also remember when everyone was adding gelatin to everything thinking our nails would grow!

  5. Hi
    Lovely recipe but I have a problem with the gelatin because I live in South Africa and don’t have the Knox brand and we use metric measurements
    How many grams/ozs are in a sachet of Knox gelatin, if you could just give me the Ounces I can convert on google.
    Thank you

  6. So that you can use up all the leaf gelatin here is a conversion for you 🙂
    Substitutions: 4 sheets leaf gelatin = 1 (.25 oz) envelope granulated gelatin = 1 tablespoon granulated gelatin; Agar-Agar, which is an algae based gellifying agent

  7. Yes to all of them. xo

  8. being a dark chocolate girl myself, I’ll be trying this soon.

  9. Simply beautiful! And good to know about the gelatin conversion…Happy Valentine’s Day!

  10. Knitting Mania says:

    Hi Marie!!! It’s been awhile since I’ve visited. Wow, love the look of your blog, including the recipes in this new format is a great addition. Makes it easy for us to make your dishes. Hope your staying warm in this crazy winter everyone’s having!!

  11. Thanks to Marie for a wonderful recipe, and to Sue for the weight conversion. The only ingredient I’m lacking is the liquor!

    Michelle – downunder in Wellington, New Zealand

  12. Chocolate is a must have dessert on Valentines’ Day and I would love to try your beautiful Panna Cotta. I wish we could meet at the local Starbucks for a Mocha Valencia. Hopefully you will make it out this way again.

  13. Wow, this looks delicious! I love dark chocolate and orange– they’re such a delicious yet unlikely combination.

  14. I completely know what you mean, Marie, about a new preference for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. We’ve been missing out all of those years! What a gorgeous panna cotta and so magnificently captured in your photos. I love the chocolate heart-shaped scones too. Sounds like you had a delicious Valentine’s Day. Here? It was delicious within the snow storm, ice storm, and earthquake! And yes, you read that right! Baci! Roz

  15. Now I am mad that I haven’t been here since before Valentine’s day. But I will have to try this anyway. Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations! And I have not had the Mocha Valencia at Starbucks but will get one next time I am there.

  16. I hope you don’t mind, I just nominated you for Saveur’s Best Food Blog Award. Hope others do the same!

  17. My only comment is what is knox gelatin and can I use any gelati and how much