Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Surprise Blackberries

Panna cotta. 

Doesn't it sound fancy?

Much fancier than vanilla pudding. Which is totally what it is.

But I love me some vanilla pudding. And in this one - I've added a surprise. Hidden blackberries. Cause pudding is just so smooth and opaque, right? You could hide anything in there.

So I chose blackberries. You could choose blueberries. Or raspberries. Or strawberry halves. Any fruit would work, really. 

It's like finding a hidden treasure! mmmmm. Edible treasure. 

Start off with the vanilla bean. Split it lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.

In a small saucepan, mix the cream, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod. 

Bring to a simmer. 

Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. 

After that time is up, mix water with the gelatin in a small bowl. Let sit.

Put the pot back on the heat and bring to a simmer again. 

Remove from heat and toss the vanilla bean pod.

Mix the gelatin in the cream mixture. 

Pour into four 4-oz ramekins. 
Add in the blackberries. 

Top with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, use a spoon to scrape around the sides of the ramekins to loosen the panna cotta. Invert onto a plate.

Combine sliced fruit with a few tsp of sugar. 

Top the panna cotta with fruit. Serve!

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Surprise Blackberries
Adapted from Food & Wine

2 c. heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 c. sugar
1 heaping tsp powdered unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 pt. blackberries
1 nectarine, cut into matchsticks

Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthways. Scrape out the seeds with the knife. In a small saucepan, mix together cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 15 minutes. 

After the 15 minutes is up, take a small bowl. Add in the 1 1/2 tbsp of water. Then sprinkle in the gelatin. Swirl it around to evenly wet the gelatin. Let sit while you put the cream pot back on the stove. Bring to a simmer again and remove from the heat. 

Fish out the vanilla bean pod. Stir in the gelatin, until it dissolves in the cream. Pour into four 4-oz ramekins. Place 3 blackberries in each dish. If you don't like a skin to form on the top of your panna cotta, cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for 4 hours. 

Using a large spoon, scrape around the sides of the ramekin to pop the panna cotta free. Invert onto a dessert plate. 

In a small bowl, mix together the nectarine matchsticks and the rest of the blackberries - halved. Toss with a few tsp of sugar.

Spoon fruit onto the panna cotta. Serve!


  1. I've always assumed that panna cotta was hard to make, tricky to set up, and all-in-all a pain in the ass. My mind has been changed! This looks creamy, delicious, and most importantly...easy!

  2. I agree with the above - it sounds super fancy but doesn't look super difficult! Question: where do you buy your vanilla beans? I've wanted to get them for a while but they can be pretty expensive.

    1. The best place I've found is Costco - but go in with someone else since you get several. You could order them off Amazon too. I think. I typically ask for them as a Christmas present! Strange, but totally useful. :)