The Ex Talk / Coffee Panna Cotta

When a struggling public radio station needs a new concept, Shay, a longtime producer with a who has always longed to be on air, proposes a show – The Ex Talk, where two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Her boss decides Shay and Dominic, a pretentious newcomer fresh off his master’s degree in journalism, are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners by creating a fake dating backstory, but it’s this or unemployment.

Inspired by the Seattle setting and the thought of sipping coffee while listening to NPR, I decided to make coffee panna cotta for this book.

Coffee Panna Cotta



  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups thickened (heavy) cream
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup strong coffee


  • ¾ cup strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


Pour the cold milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes to soften (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end). Turn the heat on low under the saucepan and stir for a minute or two until the gelatin has dissolved.

Add the sugar and stir again until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two. Don’t let the milk get too hot or to come to a simmer. It should only be just warm.

Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.

Set aside ½ cup of the mixture, then add the coffee to the larger portion and stir through. Pour the coffee flavored mixture evenly between your serving glasses.

Place the glasses in the fridge and allow to set for 1 hour. Place the extra ½ cup of mixture in the fridge also.

After 1 hour, melt the ½ cup of extra mixture in a saucepan over low heat and pour that evenly over the top of each panna cotta. Put them back in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.


Place the ¾ cup of coffee and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer over low heat. Let it gently simmer, stirring often for around 10 minutes until it’s thick, syrup and reduced to about ¼ cup. Place in the fridge until serving time.

Pour a little syrup over the top of each panna cotta and serve.

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