Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce Recipe

how to make strawberry panna cotta

Picture this: In the heart of a sun-drenched Italian orchard, where strawberry vines weave a tapestry of sweet fragrance through the air, the inspiration for our Strawberry Panna Cotta took root. It’s a dessert that will make you remember those sweet summer days and nights where everything just seems alright and you fall in love all over with life again. 

Each spoon of this classic Italian dessert serves as a reminder of the journey these simple ingredients took through the lush countryside and your taste buds are greeted with a harmonious blend of fruit and cream.

Best part? This creamy dessert is super easy and fast to make – perfect for a date night on Valentine’s Day.

Basic Ingredients You Need for Strawberry Panna Cotta Recipe

This delicious Italian Dessert doesn’t have many ingredients, so, feel free to experiment if you’d like!

Ingredients:

For the Panna Cotta:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin (about one envelope)
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Optional: 1/2 cup whole milk (it will make it creamier though)

Alternative Ingredients:

  • Milk – almond milk, oat milk, or buttermilk
  • Honey – 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stevia
  • Gelatin – agar agar
  • Vanilla extract – 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (just make sure to remove the vanilla pod after cooking it)

Ingredients for this simple strawberry sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon gelatin powder (if you want to make it even rather than smoothie like)

Alternative Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (adjust based on sweetness of the berries)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s start with the panna cotta first.

Step 1: To get that typical smooth texture of panna cotta, you want to start with blooming the gelatin by sprinkling one package over the 3 tbsp cold water in a small bowl – then, let it sit until it becomes spongy (5-10 mins).

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, honey, and vanilla extract over medium-low heat – stir until the honey is completely dissolved, but make sure it doesn’t boil.

Step 3: Once everything is dissolved, turn it to low heat or turn it completely off, then add the bloomed gelatin and stir until it’s completely dissolved. 

Step 4: Add the milk while stirring until it’s all well combined.

Step 5: Lastly, add your panna cotta to the serving glasses, filling them about halfway before you put it in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours or until the Panna Cotta is set with a slight wobble.

How to Make Fresh Strawberry Puree

Step 6: Blend the strawberries, (warm) honey, and lemon juice in an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.

Step 7 (optional): If you’re not a fan of the chunkiness and the seeds strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds.

Step 8 (optional): If you want a smooth layer, sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a separate bowl again and let it sit until spongy, just like you did with the panna cotta.

Step 9: Add about half of the strawberry purée to a new small saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Then, pour in the bloomed gelatin and mix thoroughly until the gelatin dissolves completely.

Step 10: Add the remaining strawberry mixture to it and stir until it’s mixed well.

Step 11: Let the strawberry mix cool at room temperature while you’re stirring occasionally to not let it go stiff completely, just yet.

Step 12: Once the Panna Cotta is set and the strawberry mix is cooled off, pour it over the Panna Cotta layer. Chill the glasses again until the strawberry layer is set – for about 1-2 hours.

Finally, when you’re ready to serve it, garnish it with fresh strawberry slices, other berries that you like, and maybe even a mint leaf or a dollop of whipped cream.

Strawberry panna cotta recipe - Strawberry panna cotta recipe

Expert Tips

Here are some tips to make your experience even better with this vanilla panna cotta recipe:

  • Want to wow others? Add some strawberries in the bottom and garnish on the top, just like in the picture above to make it look exquisite! 
  • Before adding the layers together, make sure both are set.
  • For an extra smooth Panna Cotta, pass the cream mixture through a sieve before pouring into the glasses.
  • To unmold the Panna Cotta onto plates, briefly dip the bottoms of the molds in hot water, then invert onto plates.
  • To unmold it even easier, dip a towel into coconut oil and wipe around the edges and bottom of the dishes.
  • For a fresh strawberry flavor, prepare the strawberry sauce first and add a couple spoons to the Panna Cotta cream.

Enjoy this delightful Strawberry Panna Cotta – a perfect dessert for spring and summer gatherings, or whenever you really want to impress with a sweet treat.

What Can I Serve With Strawberry Panna Cotta?

This recipe is so light and delicious that it pairs well with almost everything! Nonetheless, here are our suggestions:

  • Other fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries
  • Fruit Coulis or compotes
  • Biscotti or shortbread cookies
  • Chocolate – just drizzle some melted chocolate on top!
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon curd
  • Whipped cream

For wines, pair this dessert with a sweet Moscato d’Asti or a late-harvest Riesling! Alternatively, serve it with espresso, coffee, or tea for a stronger balance for the sweetness of the desert.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Got questions about this recipe? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for!

Can Strawberry Panna Cotta be made in advance?

Yes! You can make Strawberry Panna Cotta up-to two days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve and enjoy it.

How long does Strawberry Panna Cotta take to set?

Typically, it takes around 2-4 hours in the fridge for the Panna Cotta to set, however, we recommend letting it set overnight for the best results – especially if you’re adding a second layer of strawberry gel. You will recognize that the Panna Cotta is set once it reaches a custard-like texture.

Can I use frozen strawberries for the recipe?

Yes! You can use frozen ones when they’re out of season, just make sure to drain any excess before blending, once you’ve thawed them.

Can I make Strawberry Panna Cotta dairy-free?

YES! Use full-fat coconut milk or almond milk as a substitute for cream to make a dairy-free version – while delicious, keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be slightly different.

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how to make strawberry panna cotta

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce Recipe


  • Author: Anna Dykeman

Ingredients

Scale

For the Panna Cotta:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin (about one envelope)
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • Optional: 1/2 cup whole milk (it will make it creamier though)

Alternative Ingredients:

  • Milk – almond milk, oat milk, or buttermilk
  • Honey – 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stevia
  • Gelatin – agar agar
  • Vanilla extract – 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (just make sure to remove the vanilla pod after cooking it)

Ingredients for this simple strawberry sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon gelatin powder (if you want to make it even rather than smoothie like)

Alternative Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (adjust based on sweetness of the berries)

Instructions

  • Panna Cotta Recipe
  1. To get that typical smooth texture of panna cotta, you want to start with blooming the gelatin by sprinkling one package over the 3 tbsp cold water in a small bowl – then, let it sit until it becomes spongy (5-10 mins).
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, honey, and vanilla extract over medium-low heat – stir until the honey is completely dissolved, but make sure it doesn’t boil.
  3. Once everything is dissolved, turn it to low heat or turn it completely off, then add the bloomed gelatin and stir until it’s completely dissolved. 
  4. Add the milk while stirring until it’s all well combined.
  5. Lastly, add your panna cotta to the serving glasses, filling them about halfway before you put it in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours or until the Panna Cotta is set with a slight wobble.
  • How to Make Fresh Strawberry Puree
  1. Blend the strawberries, (warm) honey, and lemon juice in an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. (optional): If you’re not a fan of the chunkiness and the seeds strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds.
  3. (optional): If you want a smooth layer, sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a separate bowl again and let it sit until spongy, just like you did with the panna cotta.
  4. Add about half of the strawberry purée to a new small saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Then, pour in the bloomed gelatin and mix thoroughly until the gelatin dissolves completely.
  5. Add the remaining strawberry mixture to it and stir until it’s mixed well.
  6. Let the strawberry mix cool at room temperature while you’re stirring occasionally to not let it go stiff completely, just yet.
  7. Once the Panna Cotta is set and the strawberry mix is cooled off, pour it over the Panna Cotta layer. Chill the glasses again until the strawberry layer is set – for about 1-2 hours.

Finally, when you’re ready to serve it, garnish it with fresh strawberry slices, other berries that you like, and maybe even a mint leaf or a dollop of whipped cream.

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