Salted Caramel Panna Cotta

You know how much I love panna cotta, but what you may not know is that I consider it my “go to” dessert for when I have little time, but still want to impress my guests.  You do need to make it in advance, but it comes together in 15 to 20 minutes.  It is also a very versatile dessert and you can come up with so many flavours and “looks”, so it is never boring.  In fact, you can see a few of my favourite combinations here. This time I will share with you one of my husband’s favourite variations: Salted Caramel Panna Cotta… and I will also show you how easy it is to make those nice caramel decorations to go with it!  Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Panna Cotta

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Panna Cotta
  • 300 ml – 10 oz. cream
  • 100 ml – 3.5 oz. milk
  • 100 gms – 3.5 oz. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 gelatine sheets or 2 tsp gelatine powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • Hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 45 ml – 3 tbsp water
  • 65 gms – 4 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
Panna Cotta
  1. Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl filled with cold water for 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Put the cream, milk and vanilla extract into a mug and heat it in the microwave for 40 seconds.
  3. Put the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt it on medium heat until it becomes a dark amber colour. Do not stir, but if lumps start forming swirl the pan around.
  4. Carefully add the warm cream mixture stirring it into the caramel and keep it on the fire (it may solidify at this point, so keep stirring and the caramel will melt again).
  5. Add the sea salt and mix.
  6. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine sheets and add them to the hot caramel cream. Mix well until completely incorporated.
  7. Strain the mixture into glasses/moulds.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving.
  1. Melt the sugar in the water over a medium fire and let it become a medium dark amber.
  2. Insert a toothpick in each hazelnut and dip them in the caramel, then keep them upside-down to drain the excess caramel, until it solidifies.
  3. Remove the toothpick and put the caramel coated hazelnut on top of the set panna cotta.

Salted Caramel Panna Cotta

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  1. says

    I am a panna cotta freak and I also think it is the ideal dessert for company – easy to make AND make ahead! This is a stunning recipe and gorgeous!

  2. says

    They look absolutely perfect! I just bought water tumblers from Ikea that look just like these glasses – looks like they’re gonna be used for something else too now :-)

    • says

      Hi there! I didn’t use a candy thermometer for the hazelnuts. You just want the caramel to become a golden amber colour and let it cool down just enough (a few seconds) so that you can get it to solidify while dripping. You can put some baking paper on the ground so you avoid caramel on it… that’s what I did. 😉 They do harden pretty fast though, so you need to work quickly. If the caramel becomes too cold you will need to re melt it on the fire for a few seconds.

  3. says

    G’day and who could go past this great combination of flavors, true!
    Wish could come through the screen and try some now too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Nancy’s YBR Oct Round Up

  4. adrianne says

    the instructions say you can use gelatin powder in place of gelatin sheets. If so, do you just sprinkle in the powder at the same point that you would mix in the moist sheets? Please clarify – this looks delicious!

  5. says

    I’m considering making these, but I would like to make them vegetarian friendly for some friends that would appreciate it. Do you have any suggestions for using a vegetarian alternative to gelatin, such as agar-agar (or something else) ?

    • says

      Hi Heather! Even though I haven’t tried it myself yet, I know that you can use agar agar to make vegetarian friendly panna cotta. For this specific recipe you will need about 1 to 1 1/4 tsp of agar agar and you will need to dissolve it in the boiling mixture, stir and simmer for 3 to a max of 5 minutes and then proceed as per the recipe. Please, let me know how it comes up, so I can update the recipe with this suggestion! :-)

      • says

        I will definitely let you know how it turns out! I have to go shopping for the agar agar, but I want to try it out soon so I can bring it to our next get-together.


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