Hawaii Kona Coffee Panna Cotta Recipe

This recipe was featured in Hawaii Magazine 2008 edition’s Modern Luau Guide showcasing recipes by renowned Hawaii chef Fred DeAngelo, and this delicious dessert still holds as a favorite! Perfect for a luau or any festivity, this celebration dish will be a crowd pleaser for your guests. Quick and easy, this is a fun addition to your dessert menu.


4 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of whole milk
3 tbsp. Kona coffee (instant coffee)
6 oz. sugar
1.5 oz. powdered gelatin (unflavored)
6 small glasses (martini size)
Dark chocolate for garnish

How to Make the panna cotta:

1. Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat.
2. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the milk and allow to expand, 3 minutes. Do not let mixture boil.
3. After the gelatin is dissolved increase the heat to medium heat.  Add the heavy cream, instant coffee and sugar.  Stir until dissolved and be careful not to boil.
4. Remove the mixture from heat and cool for about 3 minutes.
5. Spoon the mixture into glasses and refrigerate until set.  About 7 hours or chill overnight.
6. Just before serving, peel a dark chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler and top the panna cotta with the chocolate strips as a garnish.

Original recipe: Hawaii Magazine recipe for Kona Coffee Panna Cotta

Fun facts:
Panna cotta, or “cooked cream”, is a cold Italian custard traditionally served in glass single serve cups or is set in a mold and turned onto a serving plate. To make panna cotta, sugar is dissolved into warm cream and infused with spices or flavorings including vanilla or coffee. Then gelatin is added to the cream and finally the panna cotta mixture is added into cups or molds while it sets. Panna cotta is traditionally served with caramel, chocolate, or berries.