Chocolate Panna Cotta – Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache and the THREE Giveaway winners!

Hi everyone, hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend! Summer is here and the time is right..for…the…STOP ME. OK, to let’s get to the good stuff.

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

SO, I needed a dessert; a really impressive dessert for some very special people in my life, and for a guest post for a fellow blogger (link below for recipe). I wracked my brain relentlessly for days; ideas running the gamut from banana verrines to a savory, layered torta milanese (coming soon it’s here!) which I love. I wanted it to be something incredibly decadent with a bit of a ‘WoWza’ factor.


Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

That being said, obviously you’ve noticed these cute, little cakes. Well, this is what I made. DRUM ROLL, please…

Chocolate Panna Cotta – Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

aka an entremet.

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

For those of you who aren’t familiar with entremets, the actual definition is the sweet course served after the cheese course. However, they’re mostly recognized as beautiful cakes layered with contrasting flavors and textures. I’ve pretty much been obsessed with entremets since I was 13 and saw a World Pastry Challenge on some local cable access station. Stunning, edible cakes of art, in all shapes and sizes, which when sliced open, reveal perfect layers of all kinds of goodies, from caramel to crunchy, to creamy, to ‘moussey’, to ‘cakey’ to crispy infinitum.

I couldn’t wait to get started on this entremet, and by Saturday night, I was already sketching out the details.

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache

I know, a little messy. I tend to scribble scrabble when an idea starts growing legs,

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

That said, many scoff at the notion that entremets can actually be easy. Yes, there’s a lot of steps, but when taken one by one, you’d be amazed at how effortlessly it comes together. The main caveat is probably the setting time between some layers, and this is why I’m going to recommend using the freezer when building an entremet. Quicker setting, faster layering.

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache

BUT, this time the freezer was briefly NOT my friend, aka, of course I ran into a bit of an issue.

When I poured on the mirror, it was THE BEST mirror glaze topping I’d ever produced. I could see my reflection clearly, right down to some brand spankin’ new smile lines (OH, goody – here come the wrinkles!) and it set almost immediately since the cake was frozen; a gorgeous sheet of shimmering ruby. I was thrilled to pieces, so thrilled in fact, that I had to put it back in the freezer just to ‘make sure’ it was perfectly set and ready to slice. Cut to one-half hour later…

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache

My super, duper shiny berry puree mirror is now an effin’ purple ice skating rink.

I think I see Brian Boitano landing triple salchows. I needed to take photos immediately because there was only 20 more minutes of that perfect artificial light time, and a frozen sheet of purple ice would not do, so I grabbed my blowtorch, and like a mad scientist trying to set the world ablaze, I started ‘melting’ the ice rink (Brian screams). Much to my dismay, the mirror started to bubble slightly, a faint gurgle of death, even though I was using a light touch, so I stopped and decided to give it 15 more minutes of natural thaw in the humidity that’s hit the Northeast as of late. Well, I ruined it. It’s permanently scarred with bubbles, pockmarks, and weird dents, and, my photo taking time was gone.

Not to mention that the quick thaw resulted in slices that could barely stand on their own. Jiggly panna-cotta and mousse does not react well to quick freeze and defrost.

Live and learn.

To get my recipe for this amazing entremet, click on the link to Ask Chef Dennis at A Culinary Journey

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache

I hope you all try this (don’t freeze the mirror glaze more than a few minutes!), because the taste and texture is amazing; rich and creamy, cakey, crunchy, light and fluffy all in one bite. Furthermore, the combination of blackberry, raspberry, chocolate and hazelnut, is divine!


Now..what most of you have eagerly been waiting for (well…sporadically waiting for, maybe?)  The winners of my three year blogging anniversary giveaway.

First off, I’d like to say it was fun reading what you eat at sporting events.  The most popular were hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, funnel cakes, boiled peanuts, cotton candy, garlic fries (YUM), hot pretzels with mustard; the beverage of choice: diet pepsi. Siobhan brings a stash of peanut butter to dip her popcorn in! Love it!

I’ll start with the two 14- piece cake decorating sets, and then work my way down to the 55 piece pastry tube set and food colors.

The first winner of the first 14-piece cake set is, random Number 75 (can’t post the random integer photo because WordPress suddenly started bugging and won’t let me scroll bneath any other photo I post).  Number 75 is Aparna E of! Congrats, Aparna! I will send you an email to get your info so I can send it out asap!

The winner of the second 14 piece cake set is random Number 131.  Number 131 is Amelia Zwiebel.  Congrats, Amelia! Sending you an email to get your info so I can send it right out.

And now the winner of the Ateco 55 piece pastry tube set and 12 bottles of food gel colors.  The winner is random Number 9.  Number 9 is, wow, Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen! She’s definitely going to put these to good use..check out her blog! Katrina, I’m sending you an email so I can get your info and mail it right out to you!

Congratulations to all three winners! If someone does not respond to their emails within 72 hours, I will be choosing another winner for that prize, so stay tuned all, just in case!

Chocolate Panna Cotta - Berry Mousse Cakes with Toasted Hazelnut Ganache

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50 Responses to Chocolate Panna Cotta – Berry Mousse Cakes with Hazelnut Ganache and the THREE Giveaway winners!

  1. This looks magnificent and so impressive! Well done! I really want to create something like this now. Look at all those sexy layers!

  2. Rosa says:

    Those look pastry window perfect! A real work of art. You are so talented!

    Congrats to the winners!



  3. Dan says:

    What a beautiful dessert and I am sure it tastes wonderful too. So very talented and your photos are magnificent as always. You should be very very proud. Congrats on a job well done!

  4. Congrats to all 3 winners! Absolutely gorgeous desserts!

  5. shaz says:

    Congrats to all the winners and oh my goodness these look amazing. I was just wondering tonight if I could incorporate panna cotta into a cake, must head over to find out how you did it. They look awesome!

  6. Chef Dennis says:

    Hi Lisa
    all I can say is WOW!! thanks so much for such an incredible guest post, you are a truly talented chef, and should be teaching at a culinary academy!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Congratulations to all the winners…heading over to more than a mouth full to see your amazing creation!

  8. Suz says:

    Your desserts always look like they should be in a top Paris patisserie. Absolutely stunning!

  9. Aparna E. says:

    Yay!! Thank you so much for the giveaway!! I can’t wait to get the decorating set!!! 😀

  10. Congrats to the winners! Glad to see my friend Katrina in there. This cake looks so so delicious — heading over to see the full post.

  11. Liz says:

    WOW, just wow. What a stunning dessert! Beautifully done…I loved your guest post 🙂

  12. Michael Toa says:

    HI Lisa. I really enjoyed your post and Chef Dennis’ blog. The dessert looks stunning! Have a great weekend.

  13. Yummy! with a wow factor. A lot effort has been made in making this cake recipe for sure. Congratulations to the winners!

  14. Sandra says:

    What a gorgeous dessert!

  15. Renata says:

    That looks professional! Wow, I’m impressed! Great to know you were invited to guest post for More than a Mountful, that’s an amazing blog!
    Your photography is stunning, as always! Congrats!

  16. Mary says:

    Gorgeous! Going to check out the disaster now…

  17. Elin says:

    Hi Lisa…Congrats on being Top 9 #1 . Your extramet deserves first place 🙂 I came over from Chef Dennis 🙂 You have a beautiful blog and I know I will be coming here often to salivate over your beautiful bakes. Great photograhpy too. I have to thank Chef Dennis for introducing you to us. Beautiful extramet !! Take care and hope your leg is well now 🙂

    Have a great weekend,

  18. Purabi Naha says:

    This is awesome! One of the best dessert presentations I have ever seen! I am your fan now.

  19. Julia@DimpleArts says:

    I posted about this dessert on Chef Dennis’ blog. I wanted to say again that you have a gorgeous dessert and gorgeous photos. Oh, man I didn’t know there was a giveaway. I miss out on everything these days:(

  20. Theresa says:

    Very good food photography and perhaps to the bite…Yummy!

  21. Gorgeous . . . truly professional presentation and great combination of flavors.

  22. Peggy says:

    I definitely enjoyed reading your guest post over at Chef Dennis’ blog and am glad to have found your blog! Can’t wait to discover more =)

  23. Hi again, Lisa, and thanks for your sweet post on our blog. Not to repeat ourselves but your cake is AMAZING and we’re so glad to have found you through Chef Dennis. Look forward to so many more great recipes!

  24. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by my blog & leaving a comment! 🙂 I am so glad to connect with you! I already said it on Chef Dennis’ site, but this cake is amazing & very professional! Fabulous job… 🙂 And congrats to the winners of the giveaway! Happy to see Katrina’s name in there… 🙂 I love your blog and I look forward to seeing a lot more of it… 🙂

  25. Evelyne says:

    Wait, where is my name in the winner’s list, did you not get my bribe check Lisa? lol. Congrats to all and heading to chef denis, your creations looks AMAZING.

  26. This looks so beautiful and delicious! Great post. Congrats on your guest post with Chef Dennis! =)

  27. thank you
    love the colourful dessert
    beautiful site
    keep in touch cheers 🙂

  28. Manu says:

    That is one of the most gorgeous looking desserts I have seen in a long time! And I bet it tastes heavenly!!!!! I wish I could have a slice!!!!

  29. I absolutely adored reading your guest post chez Chef Dennis. Congratulations! These photos and that cake! You are extremely talented. I also loved your salted prezel macarons, too. Extemely creative!

  30. This looks absolutely delicious! Congratulations to the winners!

  31. Casino Pier says:

    I’m going to float another “anniversary” contest idea:

    How excited would everyone be if a poll were taken of your three favorite desserts during the past three years, AND the three winner(s) received a mini-cake/sampling of three select creations?

    (Or does this sound a bit self-serving and wascally?)

    • lisamichele says:

      So I take it you would you enter that giveaway, even going as far as opening a Twitter account and following me, Jimmy-san? You wascally wabbit, you. lol Maybe I’ll brin you some clams casino dip!

  32. You didn’t post the disaster, this time – or did you? I will head on over to read your guest post in a minute, but first I HAD to stop and say that ONLY YOU make these decadent, spectacular, incredibly delicious looking concoctions. Only you. That is what I love about you!

  33. Casino Pier says:

    Hmmm…How far would I go? Me? Open a Twitter account? At the chance of winning one of your signature dessert Picassos I would even open an account with the Bobby Fway Fan Club, AND climb the highest mountain in all New Joisey!!

  34. tiffany says:

    Mouthwatering guest post!

  35. Juliana says:

    Wow, beautiful dessert…great colors and flavors…great pictures as well. Congratulations to the winners!
    Have a wonderful week Lisa 🙂

  36. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Those look so beautiful! And the combination of flavors is fantastic! Will check out the details over at Chef Dennis’ blog.

  37. Crumbs of Love says:

    Beautiful looking dessert!! Congratulations to your 3 winners (boo-hoo I wasn’t one of them). I am heading over to see your guest post now. Best, Sandie

  38. FOODESSA says:

    Your fabulousness in the creativity of mounting delicious mouth-watering sweets never cease to amaze me. How beautiful this treat turned out. Brava!!!

    Congrats to your winners too…sorry I didn’t have a chance to enter…I guess this is what happens during blogging breaks ;o)

    Lisa, it’s nice to be back and very much looking forward to your next creation.

    Have a great week and flavourful wishes,

  39. Jamie says:

    Oh, babes, I am always stunned by your talent and creativity and I so want one gorgeous slice! Fab mixture of flavors and textures! When’s my lesson? Beautiful! I must hop over to Chef Denis’ blog now but it sounds like I will sorely be disappointed in my expectations of another hilarious kitchen disaster story. Oh well… and I need to follow his blog more closely as well.

    Congrats on the lucky winners!


  40. I think I deserve a consolation prize, and I think it should be one of those beautiful slices… maybe two.
    *kisses* HH

  41. Megan says:

    How do you make such gorgeous desserts? I am in awe! These look absolutely beautiful… and panna cotta is one of my favorites!

  42. chef_d says:

    WOW, beautiful cakes! Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary!

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