Chocolate Panna Cotta


Category: Crèmes and Mousses
Difficulty: Moderate
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Total Time: 45 min


Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta:
¾ cup whole milk
1 bean Norohy Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
½ tsp salt
2 tsp powdered gelatin, unflavored
2 tbs water for gelatin
4 ½ ounces Grand Cru Dark Baking Chocolate Guanaja 70% 
2 tbs + 1 ½ tsp  whipping cream

Confit Pear:
12.5 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 bean Norohy Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
8 ounces brown butter
2 pears

Sherry Vinegar Gelée:
1.5 cup pear cooking syrup
1 cup sherry vinegar
5 tsp powdered gelatin, unflavored
¼ cup + 2 tbs water for gelatin


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin evenly over the water, and let stand until softened (5 min). In a small saucepan, heat milk, vanilla bean & seeds, salt and softened gelatin.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean and save for another use.
  • In a medium bowl, melt Grand Cru Dark Baking Chocolate Guanaja 70% over a bain marie, being careful not to allow any steam or water to mix with the chocolate (see our "How to temper" tips). Remove chocolate from over bain marie. Pour hot milk mixture over chocolate, and carefully emulsify with a hand blender. Add cream and mix again just to incorporate. Let cool to 99°F, pour into 4 serving glasses, and chill overnight.
  • In a large pot, bring water, sugar, vanilla beans & seeds, and brown butter to a simmer.
  • Peel, core and quarter pears. Place pears in simmering syrup, cover and cook until tender, approx. 30 to 45 minutes. Let pears cool overnight in syrup. Strain 1.5 cups of syrup from pot and reserve for gelée.
  • Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, warm pear syrup and softened gelatin over medium heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Whisk in Sherry Vinegar. Pour mixture into a small mold or container, lightly oiled, so that gelee is about thick. Let set in the refrigerator overnight.