Ina Garten's Pro-Tip For Beautiful Panna Cotta Shots Every Time

Panna cotta, with its creamy, luscious texture and delicate flavor, is a dessert everyone can enjoy. However, anyone who has attempted to plate this Italian delicacy knows it can be a daunting task. The wobbly nature of this dessert often leads to clumsy plating, leaving you with a mess rather than a masterpiece. But there's a brilliant, mess-free solution: Presenting your panna cotta in shot glasses. And, with the wisdom of culinary maven Ina Garten, you can make the most of a pro tip that takes this idea to the next level.

Panna cotta, when served in individual shot glasses, eliminates the headache of unmolding and plating. Each guest receives a perfectly portioned treat, making it ideal for entertaining and ensuring every serving is as flawless as the last. But the real trick to achieving mess-free perfection lies in the pouring process.

The Barefoot Contessa herself offers a masterstroke solution that revolutionizes the panna cotta game. Instead of wrestling with molds or ladles, Garten's ingenious trick, revealed in her "Cook Like a Pro" cookbook is to transfer your prepared panna cotta mixture into a glass measuring cup.

How to nail a mess-free presentation

To master Garten's pro tip, start by preparing the panna cotta mixture. Once combined, the mixture is ready to be poured into shot glasses to set. Select a glass measuring cup with a spout, as this is the key to a clean pour. The spout allows you to control the flow and precisely fill each shot glass without spilling or dripping any of the mixture. Carefully pour your panna cotta mixture into the measuring cup. Position the measuring cup's spout directly above your shot glass, and slowly pour. The precise pour guarantees a clean and elegant presentation. Finally, place the filled shot glasses in the refrigerator to set. Once they're firm with a slight wiggle, they're ready to be served.

This method not only guarantees a mess-free serving but also makes preparing the desserts so much easier. So, the next time you make panna cotta for dessert, remember Garten's tip. With the help of a glass measuring cup, your panna cotta shots will be a testament to the art of dessert presentation — while making your life easier without having to unmold the jiggly dessert.