Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Sauce

Panna cotta - my FAVOURITE dessert! I still remember the first time I tried the creamy, gelatinous dessert in Bologna. Ever since then I have ordered panna cotta for dessert when ever it is on the menu. My favourite (and I think my family will agree) was in Sienna from a local ice cream shop. The panna cotta was light and creamy and not to gelatinous - my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I remember the first time I made panna cotta, many years ago and learnt that milk and cream boils and overflows very fast if it isn't watched. This is probably my signature recipe among family and friends.

There's a few things to watch out on when making the dish - the best way to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean is to split the bean and using the blunt side of the knife, slide along the bean. When beating the cream I usually ensure that the cream is thick enough to hold its form, this allows to use a small amount of gelatine.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Sauce

Panna Cotta
- 600ml pouring cream
- 90g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 sheets of leaf gelatine (5 grams each)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mixed Berry Sauce
- 500g Frozen Mixed Berries
- Juice of 1 orange
- 4 tablespoons of sugar

1. Add 300ml of cream, sugar, scraped vanilla seeds and vanilla bean and stir and bring just to the boil. Remove the vanilla bean and set aside to cool.

2. Place gelatine leaves in cold water for 3 minutes and squeeze out gelatine. Place gelatine in the vanilla cream mixture and stir, using a hand whisk, till the gelatine dissolves. Place the mixture over a bowl of cold water and gently whisk till thickens and cools down.

3. In a separate bowl add the remaining 300ml of cream and vanilla essence and whisk till soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream bit by bit into the vanilla cream mixture.

4. Place the mixture into moulds that have been greased lightly with oil. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

5. For the berry sauce, place orange juice and sugar into a saucepan and heat until sugar had completely dissolved. Add frozen berries (you could use fresh berries or a mixture of both fresh and frozen). Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Cool at room temperature.

6. Serve Panna cotta out of the moulds drizzled with the berry sauce. Enjoy!


  1. That panna cotta looks AMAZING Katia! I've never seen it in a ring shape! I always think of it in an individually set bowl. Yummmmyyyyy.

  2. Thanks Georgie! It's my favourite mould. I think its by Tupperware and it's made for jellys etc. It had a part you pull out in the middle so that whatever is in it comes out neatly :)