Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce for Holiday Entertaining!

By on December 17, 2014

By Barbara Spalding, MA, MS, RDN−

Looking for a holiday dessert that’s a little different? Try this chocolate panna cotta – easy to make, delicious and only 195 calories per serving. What could be better for holiday entertaining?

Traditional panna cotta is a simple vanilla flavored custard dessert made with lots of heavy cream and often topped with fruit or caramel sauce. In this lighter version, the heavy cream is replaced with a mix of 2% and skim milk in order to cut the calories and saturated fat, and chocolate has been added to give it an unusual “twist” that is sure to wow your guests or family. The garnish on top is semisweet chocolate shavings, raspberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.   Make it in advance, plate it just before serving, and get ready for a sweet ending for your holiday dinner.

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Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce (makes 6)

Chocolate Panna Cotta

2 cups 2% milk

1 cup skim milk

3 oz. semisweet chocolate

1 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 oz. granulated sugar

1 ½ packets of gelatin

1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Mix the two milks together in a measuring cup or small bowl.
  1. Place ½ cup of the milk mixture in a small pan. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk and stir. Heat mixture on low to medium heat and stir until gelatin dissolves. Turn off heat and set aside.
  1. In a separate pan, heat the rest of the milk, the chocolates and the granulated sugar until boiling.
  1. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture. Once it is combined, stir in the vanilla extract.
  1. Strain mixture into small ramekins and chill for 2-3 hours until set.
  1. When ready to serve, run a small knife around the inside edge of each ramekin. Dip the bottom of the ramekin in boiling water for 5-10 seconds. Invert onto individual plates, garnish and serve.

Raspberry Sauce

1 cup frozen raspberries

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Place all ingredients in small pot on top of stove.
  2. Heat until boiling. Turn heat to low medium and continue to cook for 5- 10 minutes until blended and thickened.
  3. Strain into small clean squeeze bottle to use for decorating plate, or small bowl if serving as a sauce.

Approximate nutrition information per serving (chocolate panna cotta alone):  195 calories; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0.1 grams transfat; 7 mg cholesterol; 64 mg sodium; 25 grams carbohydrate; 1.5 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams protein.


BSBarbara Spalding, MA, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in East Windsor, New Jersey. She specializes in empowering clients to achieve their nutrition and lifestyle goals by eating healthier foods, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in physical activities they enjoy. She is the writer/editor/curator of the popular food and nutrition blog, where she provides delicious recipes and science-based down-to-earth nutrition information and guidance. Like her on facebook at: secondactkitchen or visit: for more information.

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Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce for Holiday Entertaining!