Question: Is it weird that I was telling this Strawberry Panna Cotta how beautiful it was, like a model in a photo shoot?
Ahem. Moving on, I think this is my new favourite way of serving panna cotta. A simple, round quiche dish makes the perfect vessel for this gorgeous share dessert and adds a little fun to it as well. Just try not to smile when you watch that spoonful of panna cotta jiggle all the way to the plate.
Serve the whole panna cotta up in the middle of the table so everyone can see how pretty it is, then let everyone grab as much or as little as they like (Also read: no need to worry about turning out a bunch of perfectly formed panna cottas, one at a time onto serving plates).
When it comes to flavour, this is panna cotta, strawberries and cream style. The top is strewn with sweet, macerated strawberries (and a little of that syrup is drizzle through the panna cotta too) while the panna cotta itself is a classic vanilla panna cotta like this one.
This post is actually an update of an old recipe. The ingredients list has not changed but the way they go together has. In my original recipe the strawberries were pureed and added to the cream mixture to make a pink panna cotta but I find this new version so much prettier.
I also originally served this dessert with pistachio meringues (which was just a play on my chocolate meringue recipe), however, to simplify this time round, I’ve just sprinkled over some pistachios. This adds just a tiny bit of crunch and colour and are certainly not a necessity but it looks pretty, right?!
And for all it’s elegance, it takes a mere 15 minutes of your time to make. Seriously. You don’t even have to unmould this panna cotta so you save time there too.
The process starts by making macerated strawberries.
How To Make Macerated Strawberries
Macerated strawberries are a combination of just 2 ingredients – sugar and strawberries. Simply mixing the two together, then letting them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight), transforms them into soft, sweet strawberries swimming in a sweet strawberry syrup.
The amount of sugar required will depend on how sweet the strawberries are to start with a and how sweet you like desserts but for mine, I use about 1 ½ cups of strawberries to about ½ cup or just less of sugar. Adjust it to your liking but also be aware that this is mostly just added over the panna cotta at the end, so you can choose how much you use at that point too.
Panna cotta is just a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatine. I have a fool-proof way of making it and if you follow these super simple steps your panna cotta will turn out perfectly every single time.
How To Make This Classic Panna Cotta Recipe
- First, sprinkle powdered gelatine over milk in a saucepan and let it soften for 5 minutes. This is called “blooming” the gelatine and just makes it dissolve easier.
- Once it’s all wrinkly, turn the heat on low and stir it until you don’t see any more grains of gelatine floating about or stuck to the spoon (note, the milk should only ever get ‘quite warm” and should never bubble)
- Now add the sugar and let that dissolve in the same way.
- Take it off the heat and add cream and vanilla
That’s it, you’re done. Those 4 steps take all of 5-6 minutes and are incredibly simple. If you’re worried that your panna cotta has lumps of gelatine undissolved, first I would return it to the heat and press those pieces against the side of the pan to try to dissolve them and then you can strain it.
Tips For Perfect Panna Cotta
- Let the gelatine soften or “bloom” on the milk first, then turn the heat on and stir. This softening stage is important to make sure it dissolves easily into the mix.
- Keep the heat low and don’t let it bubble. The heat should be low and only warm enough to dissolve the gelatine and sugar. Simmering or boiling can affect the way the gelatine works so just keep it low. It only takes 5 minutes, I promise.
- Serving suggestions: There are so many ways to serve a panna cotta. In this recipe, I’ve served it up in one large dish that goes straight into the centre of the table. Here are some recipes that will show you other ways to serve panna cotta
If You’d Like A Pink Strawberry Panna Cotta …
I find this white version really elegant and pretty on the table but if you want your strawberries all mixed in, rather than on top, you can certainly do that too. This will give the panna cotta a pink hue and the strawberry flavour throughout as opposed to just over the top.
- Don’t macerate the strawberries. In fact, leave out the sugar that you use for macerating them too.
- Puree the strawberries with the milk, then strain it to remove seeds and excess pulp.
- Pour the strawberry milk into the saucepan then follow the recipe for the remaining steps.
You can still make the macerated strawberries as a topping in addition if you like and the pistachio brittle from this recipe is another way to add great crunch.
Also, remember panna cotta is a no bake, make ahead dessert making it the PERFECT party dessert.
Sorry for the long post but panna cotta is truly one of my favourite desserts so I wanted to make sure I give you loads of tips to making them just the way you like.
Strawberry Panna Cotta is truly sublime and makes a fantastic party dessert. That classic strawberries and cream flavour in a silky smooth cream dessert that everyone will love.
More panna cotta recipes
- Pistachio Rose Panna Cotta Tart
- Fresh Peach Panna Cotta Tart
- Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Jelly
- Vanilla Panna Cotta with Orange Syrup
- Coffee Panna Cotta
- Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta
- Mango Panna Cotta Coconut Cheesecake
- Boozy Eggnog Panna Cotta
Strawberry Panna Cotta
FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES
- 1 ½ cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar, divided (notes)
FOR THE PANNA COTTA
- 2 ¼ cups whole milk
- 4 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatine
- 2 ¼ cups cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES
(at least 1 hour ahead)
- Mix together the strawberries and ½ cup of the sugar in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight is even better, give them a stir every now and again..
FOR THE PANNA COTTA
- Pour the cold milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the top. Allow it to "bloom" for 5 minutes (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end).
- Turn the heat on low under the saucepan and stir for a minute or two until the gelatine has dissolved. Don't let the mixture get too hot or to come to a simmer. It should only be just warm.
- Add the remaining ½ cup of sugar and stir again, just until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two.
- Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into a large quiche dish.
- Optional step: Puree about ¼ of the macerated strawberries and drizzle a little over the panna cotta. It will settle below the surface.
- Place the panna cotta in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
- To serve, spoon over some of the macerated strawberries and sprinkle over pistachios. Reserve some of each for guests to add to their taste.
- You can use white granulated sugar but it will take slightly longer to dissolve
- Don't let the milk simmer or boil. Keep the heat low and keep stirring just until everything is dissolved.
- The amount of sugar needed to macerate the strawberries will depend on how sweet the strawberries are to start with.
- The longer the strawberries macerate, the more syrup they'll create.
- In a tart shell: Pistachio Rose Panna Cotta Tart | Fresh Peach Panna Cotta Tart
- Set in moulds and then unmoulded to serve: Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Jelly | Vanilla Panna Cotta with Orange Syrup
- In cute glasses and jars: Coffee Panna Cotta | Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta
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