Hello! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. I am really excited to share today’s recipe with you. Panna Cotta is one of those desserts that whenever I see it on a menu at a restaurant, I always order it. It’s light and refreshing, and it always seems fancy, even when it’s presented simply. Well, I finally decided to give it a try, and it turns out to be one of the easiest desserts I have ever made! It’s perfect for a cookout or barbecue because you can present it simply in a glass or plastic cup and have individual portions all ready to serve, covered in the fridge. Let’s get right to the recipe!
I did these Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cottas in two ways: making 8 servings, I did four in 5 ounce, clear, plastic Solo cups and I did the other four in 5 ounce glasses. Depending on your get-together, you can serve them in the glasses, in the plastic cups, or you can un-mold them and present them on small plates. So versatile – and gorgeous no matter which way you decide to serve them.
Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cotta
Heavy cream is the base for silky, smooth Panna Cotta. It’s like a custard but without the eggs; so it feels lighter than a custard. Unflavored, powdered gelatin sets up our little Panna Cottas, and we are flavoring with a vanilla bean, sugar and buttermilk.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, gelatin and salt until very well combined. Pour in the cream and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Add the vanilla bean and the vanilla seeds to the cream mixture and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture hits 150-160 degrees (about 5 minutes).
Remove the cream mixture from heat and let cool until the mixture registers 105-110 degrees (about 15 minutes). Then strain the cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the remaining vanilla bean. Gently whisk in the buttermilk. Cooling the mixture before adding the buttermilk will keep the buttermilk from curdling.
Portion the Panna Cotta
It helps to have the Panna Cotta mixture in a bowl with a pour spout; If you don’t have a batter bowl, transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup to make portioning in ramekins or cups easier. Then, divide mixture evenly between eight, 5-6 ounce glasses, ramekins, or jars.
These portions of Panna Cotta will be refrigerated for at least 6 hours. If you plan to make these ahead and they will be in the fridge for longer than 6 hours, individually cover each cup with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming on the tops of the Panna Cottas. If you plan to serve them the same day, cover the sheet tray with a second, inverted sheet tray, or one large sheet of plastic wrap.
I let these sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, they were set up beautifully. I used a paring knife to gently un-mold one of the Panna Cottas in a plastic Solo cup. It took two go-arounds with my knife and I placed a small, cold plate, inverted over the top of the cup, then flipped the whole thing over so the cup was upside down on the plate. With a little jiggle of the cup, the Panna Cotta slid right out onto the cold plate.
The top did have the SOLO cup logo imprinted on it, but since we are topping these with fresh berries, mint and a drizzle of honey, the logo was not visible in the end – so, still a lovely presentation. While I like this inverted presentation, I really like how they eat when served directly in the cup. Molding the Panna Cotta in tiny mason jars would be a super-cute way to present the Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cotta, and even better because they have lids! If you make these ahead, just wait to top with berries and honey until the day of service.
Red, White and Blue Panna Cotta
Top these with your favorite summer berries, I like the red, white and blue color scheme for Summer Holidays. The tangy, rich flavor of the buttermilk really shines and the vanilla is fragrant and flavorful. Thanks to the buttermilk, these are not very sweet. So that drizzle of honey is a wonderful way to sweeten it up a bit. But you can leave it off if you like, because the berries bring their own fresh sweet flavors too.
I hope you give the Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cotta a try: they are really easy, they’re pre-portioned, you can make them a couple days ahead of time and they are so pretty! Another great cookout dessert is the Atlantic Beach Pie, give that one a try if you’re looking for a citrus dessert. Remember to Pin this recipe, it’s great all year and you can really make it your own with toppings and flavors. Take care and be well everyone, xo Kelly
Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berries and Honey
Tangy, rich buttermilk really shines in this panna cotta recipe, the vanilla is fragrant and flavorful. Top with berries and a drizzle of honey.
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 2 cups Buttermilk
- Fresh Berries (Strawberries, blueberries and Blackberries)
Whisk sugar, gelatin, and salt in small saucepan until very well combined.
Whisk in cream and let sit for 5 minutes.
Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using tip of paring knife, scrape out seeds. Add bean and seeds to cream mixture.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 150 to 160 degrees, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let mixture cool to 105 to 110 degrees, about 15 minutes.
Strain cream mixture through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Discard the remaining solids.
Gently whisk in buttermilk.
Set eight 5-ounce ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Divide buttermilk mixture evenly among ramekins. Invert second rimmed baking sheet on top of ramekins and carefully transfer to refrigerator. Chill for at least 6 hours or up to 3 days (if chilling for more than 6 hours, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap).
Working with 1 panna cotta at a time, insert paring knife between panna cotta and side of ramekin. Gently run knife around edge of ramekin to loosen panna cotta.
Cover ramekin with serving plate and invert panna cotta onto plate. (You may need to gently jiggle ramekin.)
Drizzle each panna cotta with honey, then top with berries and serve.
Skip the un-molding and pour the Panna Cotta mixture into clear glasses or jars and serve directly in the glass or jar, with berries and honey on top.
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Angela GrafeMay 27, 2021 at 8:48 am
Dear Kelly, great summer idea ! And especially an “extra” Dankeschön for amazing fotos !! Seems to be a hard job – food photography step by step – but you do it best! Your recipe ideas always welcome! Tomorrow will be “Pizza day” here, too! Alles Gute – Angela
Kelly DjalaliMay 27, 2021 at 8:54 am
Hello Angela! Thank you so much! Dankeschön! I am so happy you appreciate the photos, I do enjoy taking the step by step photos, I think it’s very helpful to have them in a recipe. Enjoy your Pizza Day tomorrow, I know we will enjoy ours! It’s good to hear from you, take care! xo Kelly
Suzanne smithMay 27, 2021 at 9:06 am
Yum. I agree. You always take beautiful photos and your explanations are always spot on. That’s a beautiful simple dessert.
Kelly DjalaliMay 27, 2021 at 9:10 am
Hi Sue! Thank you so much. It’s an easy dessert to make and it was a lot of fun to shoot this one because it’s so pretty. Made my job easy! Have a great day. xo Kelly
MariJune 23, 2022 at 10:46 am
This really is a beautiful treat, and very appropriate during the summer months, but especially for July 4th. It sounds as easy as it is beautiful. The grands would love this one, and I’m hoping everyone is here for Independence Day,. Currently, two are on vacation in Scotland with their parents, and having a great time. I’ve only gotten a few pictures so far, and they were all of a ruined castle, and the beautiful, wild land surrounding it. So far my son and daughter have been to England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. I keep telling them they need to go to Luxembourg as a nod to my Grandfather, but no one seems interested. It’s on my bucket list, so maybe I will have to complete the homage to the family tree! Happy rainy Thursday to Kelly, Alex,, Terry and the three sous- chefs.
Kelly DjalaliJune 23, 2022 at 11:37 am
Hi Mari, Boy I wish we could have some of your rain! It’s been stifling hot here in Athens, and the trees could use some water! We have a friend who recently moved to Scotland, I hope we can visit someday. I hope your family enjoys the rest of their trip – and that you make it to Luxembourg! Do make this panna cotta, I am sure you will enjoy it! xo Kelly
TerryJune 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm
This looks really good and just in time for a Fourth of July celebration. I will give these a try. I’ll let you know when I try them… have a good Thursday stay cool 🤗❤️ Mom
Kelly DjalaliJune 23, 2022 at 4:45 pm
Hi Mom, Yes these are perfect for the holiday because you make them ahead! Let me know how it goes! xo Kelly
PatJune 23, 2022 at 4:13 pm
Love Panna Cotta, buttermilk is new for me. So easy to make 1/2 recipe. Will make small batch of buttermilk biscuits with the left over buttermilk😉
Your yellow dress with the colorful shoes!
Kelly DjalaliJune 23, 2022 at 4:46 pm
Hi Pat, The buttermilk was new for me too, but it adds such a nice and refreshing tang. Let me know how you like it. isn’t that bright yellow dress fun! xo Kelly