Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese

Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone Cheese – Yes it’s January and it’s cold and snowy! But should we let this hold us back from enjoying a nice Italian dessert? I don’t think so 🙂 This creamy dessert is usually made with heavy cream and milk but for this version we’re going to use another special ingredient. Exactly.. Mascarpone, which is a variety of cream cheese and regularly found in amazing desserts like tiramisu. Other main ingredients for this version are Orange juice and cest as well as vanilla extract. Scroll down for the recipe and the exact ingredient amounts.

One of the great things about panna cotta is that you can flavour it with almost anything! Although this is a recipe for orange panna cotta you could easily swap the the orange and use one (or a combination) of the following ingredients instead:

  • vanilla pods
  • amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • lemon (cest)
  • cinnamon sticks
  • cardamom
  • espresso

and the list goes on and on and on 🙂


Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese


This is an amazingly versatile dessert, so you can let your imagination run free here.  Basically you can just take whatever dairy product you like best, infuse it with your desired flavor, add gelatine and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours until the mixture sets. So which sort of dairy could you use? I think everything from milk & heavy cream to mascarpone or creme fraiche works just fine and all four of the are reasonable choices for this dessert. The only thing that you should keep in mind is that you need to heat the dairy to infuse it with different flavors. Therefore you may want to use something that doesn’t curdle  and is more or less fluid. For these reasons joghurt or sour cream wouldn’t be the best choices .. Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese


Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese


Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese

Orange Panna Cotta with Mascarpone cheese


  • 200 g mascarpone cheese
  • 200 ml milk
  • 2 oranges (juice and cest)
  • 1 sachet of gelatin (about 10 g)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Put the gelatin in a cup and add the 3 tbsp of water, so it can rehydrate. It's ready to use in just a few minutes, when looks and feels just like a rubber ball.
  2. Put two saucepans over medium flame, one with the milk and one with the orange juice.
  3. Add the orange cest, the vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and two thirds of the sugar to the milk and let it simmer for about 15 minutes (this will infuse the milk with an intense orange flavour.
  4. Stir in two thirds of the (rubbery) gelatin until it dissolves. Then set aside.
  5. In the meanwhile, add the other third of the sugar, the gelatin and the rum to the orange juice and let it reduce a bit.
  6. Pass the milk through a sieve and combine it with the mascarpone. Mix until well combined.
  7. Take six ramekins and evenly distribute the orange juice, then put them in the fridge for about half an hour, or until the orange juice begins to set.
  8. After the juice has slightly set, add the milk and mascarpone mix to the ramekins, cover with cling film and put them into the fridge for at least 6 hours (it's best to just let the mix set over night).
  9. Once you're ready to enjoy your orange panna cotta, dip the ramekins in hot water (this will make the following easier) and then turn it out on a dessert plate.
  10. Enjoy!

I'm David and I'm a psychology student living in Austria. I genuinely love cooking delicious meals with fresh ingredients, and a decent glass of wine at the side. And of course taking photos of it..
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