Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta is a silky smooth panna cotta recipe filled with the comforting spices of chai. Plus it's perfect dessert for entertaining. #dinnerparty #chailatte
3.1 from 10 votes

Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 serves
Author: Marie Roffey
Vanilla Chai Panna Cotta is a silky smooth panna cotta recipe filled with the comforting spices of chai. Plus it's perfect dessert for entertaining. 
Course: Dessert, Sweets


For the Panna Cotta

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk, in 2 parts - see recipe
  • 6 chai tea bags, good quality
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Pistachio Brittle

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar (notes)
  • 1 tablespoon water (notes)
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped (notes)
  • Pinch allspice
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt


For the Panna Cotta

  • If you want to turn the Panna Cotta out onto a plate when set, first start by spraying your dariole moulds or ramekins with oil spray (I find metal dariole moulds easier to use). Wipe them with paper towel so there is only a light covering.
  • Pour 1 cup of cold milk into a saucepan and add the teabags, cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger and allspice. Sit over low heat swirling the pan every so often, until the milk is steaming and bubbles start appearing around the edge. Turn off the heat.
  • Cover saucepan and allow the flavours to infuse for 15 minutes. Then strain the mixture, making sure to squeeze the teabags well.
  • Rinse out the saucepan and add the final 3/4 cup of cold milk. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Allow the gelatine to "bloom" for 5 minutes (it should look a bit wrinkly by the end).
  • Turn the heat on low under the saucepan, add back the chai infused milk and stir for a minute or two until the gelatine has dissolved.
  • Add the sugar and stir again until dissolved. This should only take another minute or two. Make sure not to let the milk boil, you just want to heat it gently until everything is dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat. Pour in the cream, vanilla and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Strain the mixture again to make sure you aren’t left with any lumps of undissolved gelatine.
  • Pour into dishes or moulds. Place immediately in the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours (or they can be made a day ahead). See notes to unmould.

For the pistachio brittle

  • Line a small baking tray with baking paper.
  • In small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Allow it to bubble and use a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals that form around the sides. Swirl the pan from time to time so that it cooks evenly, until the caramel turns amber. Quickly add the pistachios, spices and salt and stir through, then pour out onto the prepared tray. Once set, use a rolling pin or mortar and pestle to roughly crush the pistachio brittle. Store in a sealed container until required. Sprinkle on top of the Panna Cotta just before serving.


  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. To unmould, fill a dish with warm water just an inch or so, then sit the moulds into the warm water for 10-20 seconds. Place your serving dish on top of the Panna Cotta mould and flip it over. Give the Panna Cotta a gentle shake. They may take a little bit of encouragement but should slide out perfectly. These will melt if left for too long so make sure you don't turn them out until ready to serve.