Sugar Free Rosewater & Vanilla Panna Cotta. 2.5g net carbs. Wicked luxury with minimal effort.
Panna cotta is perfect for the keto/low carb lifestyle. 3 basic ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen is all it takes. No skills needed. Anyone can create an impressive panna cotta, with the perfect ‘wobble’, as long as ingredients are measured correctly.
This is my version of a humble Italian dessert that went from anonymity to becoming one of the best loved desserts globally. Which isn’t at all surprising, given its elegance, silky texture and simplicity.
I cannot imagine anyone not ever having tasted panna cotta at least once in their lives. But for any novice that may exist, panna cotta is a spoon dessert, a.k.a. a ‘pudding’ to my friends over the ocean. Its consistency is somewhat similar to a set custard, except it contains no eggs and no flour of any kind. Dairy cream is the main ingredient. Gelatine is the magic ingredient. Sugar (or sweetener) is the sweet element. That’s all it is.
The Best Panna Cotta Recipe
There are myriad recipes for panna cotta. The not-so-purist, fat-fearing ones involve cream + milk. Many include additional ingredients, such as flavourings, fruit compotes, chocolate and syrupy sauces. Then you have non-dairy recipes, which create a pleasant but altogether different animal.
You can have a lot of fun personalising it to your palate. Or you can keep it simple.
For this keto recipe, I have chosen classic vanilla, as well as rosewater, but kept them as two separate layers. The combination produces a saporific delight without each flavour being overpowered by the other. It did take me a few test runs to get my Sugar Free Rosewater & Vanilla Panna Cotta right. I had to adjust the quantities and ratios several times. And I also experimented with different types of cream, before declaring an all-round winner.
The end result is a panna cotta that’s luxuriantly creamy without being sickly, nor unduly sweet, with just the right ‘wobble’, and distinctive yet delicate flavours.
My Tips for the Perfect Sugar Free Rosewater & Vanilla Panna Cotta
My first and most important tip is, as always, to measure each ingredient accurately on metric scales. Deviate and you might just ruin your creation.
My second tip is to use whipping cream (±36% fat), which I believe corresponds with heavy cream in the U.S. Don’t use double cream (±52% fat). And definitely avoid single cream (only ±18% fat and more carbs), a.k.a. light cream or half & half in the U.S. The variation in fat content will set your panna cotta differently. Double cream will make it too dense and rich – although you may prefer it that way.
My third tip is to use good quality pure gelatine powder – either the one for which I have provided links in the recipe, or a similar product.
The images show edible rosewater petals as a garnish. This is entirely optional. You could add a few berries or a berry jam/compote, but don’t go mad otherwise you’ll overpower the delicate panna cotta flavours. Or add nothing. I find the simple things in life tend to be the best.
- Yield: 6
- Serving: 1
- Calories: 372
- Fat: 39g
- Net Carbs: 2.5g
- Protein: 3g
- sprinkle gelatine over the water in a small bowl and stir with a fork - set it aside to bloom for a couple of minutes.
- meanwhile, warm up the cream over medium heat, without letting it boil.
- using a manual balloon whisk, incorporate the bloomed gelatine and continue to heat the mixture on medium-high setting until it begins to foam; at this point, lower the heat and allow it to gently simmer for 30 seconds.
- now move the pot away from the heat source, add the stevia, and let the 'cooked cream’ cool for 15 minutes.
- transfer half of the liquid panna cotta into a Pyrex jug (U.S. option HERE) or similar and add rosewater - 1 teaspoon at a time (*see recipe notes below); stir in a tiny bit of red food colouring, then leave until barely warm.
- divide the rosewater panna cotta between 6 small tumbler glasses (ideally 150-175ml capacity) and place them in the coldest part of the fridge for an hour or so to set.
- add vanilla to the remaining half of the panna cotta and pour it over the set rosewater layers.
- chill until firm (4 hours minimum).
- when you’re ready to serve, garnish with a sprinkle of edible rose petals.
The only way to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients is with Metric Kitchen Scales. Click HERE for the ones I use, or HERE for U.S. alternative.