Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta – Toma Leche!

I dream of sweets all the time but in the warmest season of the year, they seem like such a task to make.  I picture the sweaty kitchen and think twice about dessert creating.  Until recently that was the case…

A little while back I had a hands on lesson with Danielle Keene ( you may remember her from Top Desserts) and Chef Michelle Quiles (gelatin queen extraordinaire).  I learned a few sweet Milk based recipes to keep cool with in the dead of heat… Creamy Summer Desserts.

Pictured below: The desserts we ate and made. 🙂

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley




Ingredients for Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:    (Pictured at top)

1 – vanilla bean, split

2 1/4 – teaspoons dried lavender

1/2 – cup sugar

1- cup milk

3 – cups heavy cream

1/2 – cup creme fraiche

1 – tablespoon powdered gelatin

In a saucepan over medium heat bring vanilla bean, lavender, sugar, 1/2 cup milk and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream to a simmer.  Cover, remove from heat and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.  In a separate bowl, mix gelatin powder in remaining 1/2 cup milk to hydrate.  Reheat vanilla mixture and pour over gelatin mixture.  Whisk until combined and gelatin is dissolved.  Whisk in creme fraiche and strain.  Cool to room temperature.  With a electric mixer whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream to soft peaks.  Gently fold in vanilla bean mixture in two parts.  Pour into small greased ramekins and chill for 6 hours or overnight.  Unmold and serve with blueberry caramel and fresh fruit.

Ingredients for Berry Caramel Sauce:

1 -cup sugar 

1/4 – cup water

1 3/4 – cup fresh berries pureed

1 – tablespoon butter


In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar and water.  Boil until mixture is an amber color.  Add berry puree and butter.  Whisk until dissolved.  Strain and serve over panna cotta.



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