4 ingredients and a little gelatin, and you’ve got what contestants on MasterChef struggle with almost every episode — a beautifully light panna cotta. Don’t get me wrong, this seemingly simple dessert isn’t without its complications, but with a little bit of practice and experimentation (and isn’t that what cooking is all about anyway?), you’ll wow your family and friends with this recipe.
A Few Note About this Recipe: I’ve infused vanilla flavor by cooking the cream with a split vanilla bean. But you could certainly infuse any flavor you like — ginger, cinnamon, even earl grey or green tea.
Also, my original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of gelatin. However, as you can see from the picture below, the panna cotta with that quantity didn’t set quite right (and I let it sit over night). So I’ve updated the recipe to 2 teaspoons gelatin.
Lastly, I garnished this dessert with this Easy Raspberry Coulis, a bit of chopped almonds for crunch, and chiffonade mint (because, yum).
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
*total time does not include resting time
- 12 oz heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz milk
- 3 tablespoons super fine sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 4 teaspoons water
- Place the cream, milk, sugar, and split vanilla bean in a medium pot over low heat.
- Keep over heat, stirring occasionally, until the vanilla bean seeds start to fall out and are visible throughout the milk mixture (5 to 8 minutes).
- Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons gelatin powder in a small bowl.
- Add the 4 teaspoons of water and whisk with a fork until dissolved.
- Add dissolved gelatin to the milk mixture and whisk until the gelatin is fully incorporated (there should be no lumps or granules).
- Pour the panna cotta into ramekins (I used silicon tartlet shells).
- Place in the fridge until set (4 to 6 hours minimum).