Even though this recipe sounds complicated and decadent, it really isn’t. This Layered Espresso and Coconut Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Salted Espresso Caramel Sauce takes longer to type out than it takes to make it.
Coffee. Espresso. Latte. Mocha. Cappuccino. Breve. Java. Joe. Brew. Demitasse. Perk. Cafe Au Lait. Cafe Noir. Roast. Shot of coffee. Mud. Americano. Affogato. Frappuccino. Cuppa. Daily Grind. Drip. Hot Brown Beverage. Ok Ew. Probably not that last one. I LOVE coffee, in any form or name. Except that hot brown beverage one. And definitely instant coffee.
A blogging friend the other day was asking what “flavor” coffee people liked best. I told her ” coffee” because coffee is a flavor. Its funny to me that people like coffee and then fill their cuppa with all sorts of flavored things to make it as far from coffee tasting as possible. They like the caffeine to keep their eyeballs open during the day, but don’t care for the taste of coffee.
I can understand that drinking black coffee is kind of hardcore for some, but taking a glorious cup of brew and adding in chocolate vanilla hazelnut caramel pumpkin cinnamon whatever super sugary creamer really makes it more like a fuu-fuu drink and not “real” coffee. At least not in my book. No judgement here, I just really like the taste of coffee.
A mocha is ok. A vanilla latte is ok. Just a slight hint of the flavor in coffee is ok too. But I just really love coffee flavored coffee. I prefer my coffee brewed STRONG. I use a French press and I grind my beans fresh every am. I add in a splash of unsweetened coconut milk. That’s it.
Whenever we dine out and save room for dessert I always seek out coffee desserts. I made this layered espresso coconut vanilla bean panna cotta as a nod to fancy coffee desserts I have seen on menus. And ordered. Many times.
It was HARD to name this recipe without naming all the ingredients, and I didn’t want to leave anything out. So its a HUGE title for a little dessert. There are so many components to this surprisingly easy dessert. First layer is an espresso panna cotta with mini chocolate chips. YUM. Second layer is a coconut vanilla bean panna cotta. Another YUM. And the third layer? This UNREAL amazing salted espresso caramel sauce. To. Die. For. Or actually to live for. I want to live a long life so I can enjoy this more often.
I was originally thinking of making an ice cream with coconut milk and espresso, but we all know how much I love to take pics of ice cream in the summer here in Vegas. I seriously need to make ice cream in the winter and save those posts for the summer. Maybe next week I will start in on all my winter soup recipe posts to save for the end of the year.
If you want to wow your friends or family at your next dinner party make these little panna cottas. You can make them well ahead of time to save on time the day of your party!
For the Espresso Panna Cotta
- ½ C cold espresso
- 2 tsp. granulated gelatin
- 1 ½ c heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. espresso powder
- ¼ c + 1 TBSP light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp espresso salt
- Mini chocolate chips
For the Coconut Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
- 2 cups cold coconut milk (full fat), divided
- 2 tsp. gelatin
- ¼ c +1 TBSP granulated sugar ( I use Zulka Non-GMO sugar)
- 1 Vanilla bean
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Salted Espresso Caramel Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 3/4 c light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. espresso powder
- Heavy pinch of espresso salt
- Sweetened whipped cream
- Chocolate covered espresso beans
For the Espresso Panna Cotta Layer
- In a saucepan pour in the ½ c of cold espresso and sprinkle over the 2 tsp gelatin on top and let sit 5 min to allow the gelatin to bloom
- Combine the rest of the espresso panna cotta ingredients into the saucepan and heat the pan to medium, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Heat about 3 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. Remove from the heat and let cool a few minutes. Divide amongst 4-6 dessert glasses (depending on size will determine how much in each glass. Chill, stirring every 20 minutes until starting to thicken. Once it is starting to thicken a little add in 2 tsp. mini chocolate chips in each glass and gently stir to mix. You don’t want the panna cotta to set up too much before adding in the chips or else you won’t get a flat surface to the top of it. Chill until firm, another 20-40 min. You can speed up this process by chilling in the freezer.
For the Coconut Panna Cotta Layer
- In a saucepan pour in the ½ cup of cold coconut milk and sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit 5 minutes to bloom. In a small bowl add the sugar and salt. Scrape out the vanilla bean pod and add the seeds to the sugar mixture. Run the sugar and vanilla beans together until well mixed and fragrant. Add this mixture plus the remaining 1 ½ cup of coconut milk. Heat over medium, stirring well to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minute total, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. Cool for about 10 minutes. Divide the mixture amongst the glasses on top of the espresso panna cotta. Chill until well set. At least 2 hours.
Make the Espresso Salt Caramel Sauce
- In a saucepan combine the water and brown sugar and stirring well. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. No more. Remove from the heat and add the butter and heavy cream, stirring carefully as the mixture may splatter up a little bit. Return to the heat stirring well and add in the espresso salt and espresso powder. Mix well and continue stirring on low heat until thickened. Cool until thickened. Pour 2 Tbsp. of the sauce on top of the coconut layer in each glass and chill again. Top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a chocolate covered espresso bean. Serve chilled.