Valhrona Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta, Salty Caramel, Malt Ice Cream Shake via Parallel Post

CTbites Team

Parallel Post in Trumbull

is currently celebrating National Chocolate Lover's Month

during February, and will also honor American Chocolate Week during the week of March 17th.  Parallel Post is overseen by James Beard nominated Chef Dean James Max, and serves up modern-American cuisine focused on seasonal ingredients. To celebrate the joy of chocolate, Chef Max will be sharing a few of his chocolate inspired recipes with CTbites, the first is this amazing

Valhrona Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta, Salty Caramel, Malt Ice Cream Shake.

Yes please!

Valhrona Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta, Salty Caramel, Malt Ice Cream Shake

Serves 6

Panna cotta

4 cups heavy cream

5 gelatin sheets (or 1 Tbs. gelatin powder in 3 Tbs. water)

¼ cup sugar

10 oz. Valhrona milk chocolate 

1 tsp. espresso extract

½ vanilla bean (split and scraped)

Soak the gelatin sheets in 1 ½ cups water in a shallow dish.  When it has softened, drain the water, carefully remove the soft gelatin and place them on a plate.  Meanwhile, heat the cream, sugar, and vanilla bean, and as soon as it simmers remove it from the heat. And stir in the chocolate and gelatin until the mixture is smooth and then strain the panna cotta into the desired glassware.  Chill uncovered for at least 3 hours.


1 cup sugar

1 Tbs. Corn syrup

¼ cup water

½ cup cream

½ tsp fleur de sel

Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water  in a pan and warm over a medium heat until the sugar begins to turn golden brown.  Add in the cream and stir until smooth.  Add in the salt and cool the caramel in the refrigerator until needed.

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

6 large egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean (split)

Bring the milk and vanilla bean to 180 degrees.  Meanwhile, beat sugar with the yolks until they are ribbon like.  Off the heat slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolks.  Put the mixture back on the heat and cook slowly for 8 minutes to let the custard thicken.  Be careful to stir and not let the eggs scramble.  Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer   Cool the mixture over an ice bath stirring with a wooden spoon to quickly cool the mixture.  Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the ice cream.  Put the mixture in your ice cream machine and follow its directions.  

1 cup ice cream

1 cup hazelnuts (toasted and chopped)

½ cup malt powder

Mix the ice cream and malt powder in a blender until loose and smooth.

1 cup toasted hazelnuts (chopped)

Remove the panna cotta from refrigerator and pour a couple of tablespoons of caramel over to evenly coat the top.  Pour the malt ice cream shake over the caramel until it reaches the top of the glass.  Coat the top with the toasted hazelnuts and serve.

Chef Dean James Max