Nutella panna cotta with hazelnuts is a delicious panna cotta flavour. Adding hazelnut spread to the other panna cotta ingredients will get you a lovely chocolate hazelnut panna cotta. This chocolate panna cotta beautifully sums up what Piedmont has to offer when it comes to putting dessert on the table.
The inspiration to this recipe comes from a trip back home I made a few years ago. As an expat I have a deep longing for the traditional cuisine from the place I grew up in. Visiting a traditional restaurant every time I go back is as important as meeting my family and friends back home. So that one time my parents took me to a restaurant that makes traditional piemontese food, and the dessert menu included a delicious nutella panna cotta.
Chocolate hazelnut panna cotta
Panna cotta is a standard item in Piedmont restaurants, the creamy no-bake dessert in fact originated in that region. The classic is usually white, only flavoured with vanilla and often served with caramel or strawberry sauce. The other big name among the sweets that were created in Piedmont is Nutella. The combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, known as gianduja, is a signature preparation from Piedmont. In a spreadable form it just became worldwide.
Despite looking as the most logical thing on earth, never before that restaurant visit had I tasted actual nutella panna cotta. As in hazelnut spread flavoured panna cotta. I don’t even understand how this could have happened, yet it had. So here we are now, from that small trattoria in Piedmont to this blog. Nutella panna cotta.
This recipe was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated in August 2020 with better wording and a recipe card.
How to make nutella panna cotta
Making Nutella panna cotta is pretty similar to making regular panna cotta, as we are only adding the hazelnut sprad to the other canonical ingredients. If you are familiar with making panna cotta, you should find this recipe pretty easy. If this is your first panna cotta ever, first of all let me tell you, good choice! Read on for a quick overview, and find more detailed quantities and directions in the recipe card below.
So here’s what you’re gonna need:
- Heavy cream – that is the foundation of panna cotta, really cannot do without.
- Milk – while you could make panna cotta with just cream, I like to use both cream and milk.
- Gelatin – this needs to be used to set the panna cotta to its peculiar texture.
- Sugar– we will not be adding too much as nutella will also contribute in sweetness.
- Nutella – this one was pretty obvious wasn’t it?
- Hazelnuts – optional, I think they really help to decorate this dessert and strengthen the hazelnut flavour.
Start by soaking the gelatin in cold water. Combine 200 ml of cream, milk, sugar and Nutella in a small saucepan and set on medium heat. Stir continuously until the Nutella dissolves. Remove the mixture from the heat just before it reaches boiling temperature. Aside, warm up 50 ml of cream. Drain the gelatin and squeeze any excess water and add it to the cream. Give it a quick stir to dissolve the gelatin, then pour into the other pot and combine.
Divide the mixture between serving cups or moulds and place in the fridge to set. The quantities in this recipe yield about 3 portions, as in the pictures. You can also divide it between smaller serving cups for 4 smaller desserts. It’s easy to double for a larger yield or bigger servings.
I decided to decorate my chocolate panna cotta with hazelnuts and some extra nutella. To do so, lightly warm about 2 tbsp nutella and transfer it to a piping bag. Warming the chocolate spread makes it slightly more runny and easier to pipe. Top with whole hazelnuts. The result is very cute, and the hazelnuts will really give even more flavour to the overall dessert.
Since you may have bought a larger box of whipping cream than you needed in this recipe, you may as well whip some and pipe some whipped cream on top of your hazelnut panna cotta. Top the whipped cream with crushed hazelnuts or even milk chocolate shards.
You don’t need to use actual Nutella to make this panna cotta recipe. There are many hazelnut spreads out there that are pretty similar and will work equally great. Nutella is pretty sweet so I did not use a lot of sugar here, but bear in mind that you may need to tweak this recipe to suit it to a hazelnut spread from another brand.
You could also make your own hazelnut spread, it’s easier than you may think. I like to make my own dark chocolate nutella at home, but it’s so good I usually enjoy it on bread rather than using it as an ingredient in other preparations.
For more panna cotta inspiraton, check out my other panna cotta recipes:
- Saffron panna cotta – probably the most unusual panna cotta flavour, but one of my favourites.
- Blueberry lavender panna cotta – a delicious sumemr panna cotta flavour.
- Liquorice panna cotta – okay, this one is pretty unusual, too!
- Coconut panna cotta with cardamom – if you need a vegan/dairy free version, this one is made with coconut cream and agar-agar instead of gelatin. The flavours are inspired by India here.
Do you like panna cotta? I’m always looking for new flavours to try, so let me know in the comments what panna cotta should I make next.
Nutella panna cotta
Chocolate hazelnut panna cotta made with nutella and decorated with whole hazelnuts.
- 250 ml whipping cream divided
- 50 ml milk
- 5 g gelatin sheets
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 70 g Nutella or other hazelnut spread
- 9 whole hazelnuts optional
In a small bowl soak the gelatin in cold water.
Combine 200 ml of cream, milk, sugar and Nutella in a small saucepan and set on medium heat.
Stir to dissolve the sugar and Nutella. Remove from the heat just before it reaches boiling temperature.
In another saucepan warm up the remaining 50 ml of cream.
Drain the gelatin and squeeze any excess water. Add gelatin to the hot cream and stir to dissolve. Pour gelatin mixture into Nutella mixture and sitr to combine.
Divide panna cotta between serving cups and place in the fridge to set. Resting time may vary depending on serving cup size; budget in about 4 hours to properly set. Wait until it has fully set to decorate.
Lightly warm 2 tbsp Nutella and add to a piping bag. Pipe nutella swirls over each panna cotta. Top with hazelnuts.