Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Summer Fruits

Happy Australia Day everyone! We're doing the traditional laze around at home followed by roast lamb on the BBQ thing today. Absolute bliss. Although it does make for a strange week having a public holiday in the middle.

I'm a little late jumping on the panna cotta bandwagon but better late than never. This is something you find on restaurant menus a lot but after seeing just how simple it is you'll be making it for yourself instead.

I couldn't think of anything more perfect for an Australia Day lunch than this cool and silky panna cotta paired with fresh pineapple and mango. If you're somewhere cold at the moment (lucky you!) than this would work wonderfully served with a warm fruit compote.

"A panna cotta should wobble like a Rubenesque woman wearing 5 inch heels"

As you can see from my photos the mixture split into 2 distinct layers while it chilled in the fridge. Apparently this is really common and can be caused by over-heating the cream (which did happen when I turned my back for a moment) and not allowing the mix to cool sufficiently before pouring it into the moulds. I actually quite like the effect although it does make the creamy bottom layer VERY creamy.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au

1 1/2 cups (375ml) cream
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 vanilla bean (I used 1 ts of vanilla paste)
1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
2 1/2 tsp gelatine powder

Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

Discard bean from cream mixture. Add sugar and return to a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.

Place 2 tbs of boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Sprinkle over gelatine. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Remove from heat. Sit the bowl of gelatine in the water and stir until dissolved. (I microwaved the combined gelatine powder and water in 5 second bursts until dissolved). Cool slightly, then stir into the cream mixture.

Lightly oil 6 x 1/2 cup (125ml) plastic dariole moulds or ramekins (I used spray oil). Place on a tray and pour in cream mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

To serve, break the seal by inserting a small knife between the panna cotta and the mould. Turn onto a serving plate and shake to release.


  1. This panna cotta looks superb - and with pineapple and mango, it owuld be wonderful! Love the Matt Preston quote.

  2. Very yummy looking! Never tried panna cotta before! Lezlee

  3. I have always been a fan of flans and creamy desserts, but I never order panna cotta at restaurants. That all changed recently and I've been a fan ever since. I can't wait to try this recipe at home. I will heed your advice about not over heating the cream, but it does make for a pretty looking panna cotta!

  4. Wow, this looks so perfect! I don't think it would have been sturdy enough for the wild shenanigans at the Australia day barbecue I went to.. it was salads and sausages for us. But wow, slightly jealous.

  5. Cakelaw: I know! And it did indeed wobble ...

    Prior: Thanks!

    LetMeEatCake: Me too! I love being able to make restaurant desserts at home.

    Hannah: lol this year it was just hubby, bub and me. Salads, sausages and shenanigans sounds fun!

  6. I Love panna cotta and yours looks just beautiful. I've had the splitting problem myself and it is somewhat frustrating, but it does indeed look neat :)

  7. Ummmm that looks so yummy. I can hear myself gaining weight. lol

  8. Sounds great.This panna cotta is new to me and hope your recipe will help me out in tasting this.Thanks for the complement..


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