Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture.
Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious.
Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.
Ingredients for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:
- 1 can (14 ounces or 400 mL) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon high-quality gelatin (like this one)
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ghee*, optional
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 crispy bacon strips, crumbled, for garnish
Directions for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:
- Pour 1/4 cup of the coconut milk into a very small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the panna cotta.
- In a medium pot, whisk the remainder of the coconut milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, ghee and cinnamon until they’re combined. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, but don’t let it boil. You want to warm the mixture enough to dissolve the gelatin but not too much so that the egg yolk starts to scramble.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the coconut milk / gelatin mixture from step 1 until the gelatin is dissolved. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the panna cotta into small ramekins, bowls or Mason jars. I used four 4-ounce Mason jars, like these. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until the panna cotta firms up. Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Change it up:
- Use homemade almond milk instead of coconut milk.
- Use honey instead of maple syrup.
- Omit the ghee if desired.
*Please note that while ghee is technically derived from butter, it’s had the problematic proteins removed during processing and is only pure butterfat. Therefore, some people consider it a dairy product. I, however, don’t because most folks who react to dairy negatively do because of the protein or the carbohydrate fractions, not the fat.