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Share a light, sweet dessert for two

By Staff | Feb 7, 2012

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Caramelized Oranges

For those in love, Valentine’s Day is a day of merriment and a celebration of one another. However, for others, it is nothing more than a day filled with overplayed love songs and heart shaped chocolates. No matter which end of the spectrum you lean towards, a good dessert is sure to please. Panna cotta, which is Italian for “cooked cream”, is quite possibly one of the easiest desserts to make, not to mention extremely tasty. With this classic recipe consisting of just heavy cream and milk, the addition of Greek yogurt is a nutritional boost complemented with bursting juicy, orange flavor. Add some love to the preparation, and this simple dessert is sure to shine above any heart shaped chocolate you will find.

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Caramelized Oranges


Panna Cotta:

cup cold water

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1 cup 2% or whole milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 cups Greek yogurt

Caramelized Oranges:

8 oranges

cup granulated sugar

cup water

cup orange juice (or juice from 2 oranges)

2 tbsp butter (optional)


1. In a small bowl, fill with cup of cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.

2. While gelatin is softening, bring your milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a simmer. Do NOT boil. Remember to slice the vanilla bean down the middle, exposing the seeds and flavor.

3. Once sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and stir in the softened gelatin. Once fully incorporated, whisk the Greek yogurt into the mixture. After this step, make sure to remove the vanilla bean.

4. Pour the mixture into ramekins of and place in the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

For the oranges, make them ahead, as the flavors intensify as they sit in their own liquid.

1. In a saucepan, fill with cup of water. Add sugar and bring to a simmer. Resist the urge to stir, as it will cause the sugar to crystallize.

2. Once sugar is dissolved, add orange juice. It will bubble up quite a bit. Reduce the mixture over medium heat until slightly thickened.

3. While the syrup is reducing, cut the remaining oranges into segments, making sure to remove all the pith and seeds.

4. Add the orange slices to the sugar syrup and cook until softened. Hold until ready to serve panna cotta.

A current student at The Culinary Institute of America in NY, Sarah is constantly learning how something as simple as food can change a person’s life. Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, she loves nothing more than a weekend visit to experiment with new recipes and foods, and the excitement of sharing them with her family and friends.