This creamy dessert features classic Italian vanilla panna cotta topped with a rich homemade cherry syrup. This easy Cherry Panna Cotta recipe can be made ahead and is ideal for entertaining guests during summer months!
If you've been following my blog, you're probably familiar with my love for simple creamy and fruity desserts. Panna cotta is definitely one of my favourite; made with rich but simple ingredients, panna cotta is a true classic. I love how it is so versatile and can be paired with almost any fruit or nut available.
What is Panna Cotta?
Panna cotta (or "cooked cream" in Italian) is a delicious creamy Italian dessert. It's consistency resembles that of jello; firm but smooth which quivers when slightly touched. Panna cotta is usually paired and topped with fruit, chocolate, or nuts and may be flavoured in itself. It's perfect for entertaining guests during the summer months as it's quite refreshing and attractive to the eye. Traditionally, panna cotta is made using fresh cream and milk, and is thickened with gelatin powder.
Ingredients for Cherry Panna Cotta
For the panna cotta, you will need the following ingredients:
- Fresh Cream
- Semi-Skimmed or Whole Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Gelatin Powder
For the cherry topping, you will need these ingredients:
- Fresh Cherries
- Cinnamon Stick
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Rind
- Corn Flour
How to Make Cherry Panna Cotta
This cherry panna cotta recipe is really easy to prepare. In fact, it only takes around 20 minutes to prepare the panna cotta and cherry topping. You will then need a few hours of chilling time, which is why this recipe is ideally made ahead! The panna cotta itself can be made and left to set at least 4 hours up to overnight. The topping can be made as soon as it sets or even made ahead and chilled.
The panna cotta is made by mixing the gelatin with water and heating it slightly to melt in the microwave. The milk, cream, vanilla and sugar are then heated in a saucepan just until boiling point. The saucepan is then removed from heat and gelatin can be mixed into the mixture, which should be cooled down before placing it in serving glasses and chilled for at least 4 hours until it sets. The trick here is to use the right amount and ratio of ingredients (cream, milk, and gelatin powder). Use too much gelatin and the panna cotta will be too thick; use too little and it won't set. Once set, panna cotta should be just firm but smooth, and it should quiver when touched.
For the cherry topping, cornflour is first mixed with cold water and sugar in a saucepan (without heating it) until it dissolves. Fresh cherries (halved and pitted) are then added, along with lemon juice, lemon zest, and a cinnamon stick. The mixture is allowed to simmer for 12-15 minutes until thick cherry syrup is released and the cherries have softened. The topping is then allowed to cool completely before pouring it over the set panna cotta. Panna cotta should be served chilled and can be stored for up to 2 days in a refrigerator.
This recipe yields 3 servings.
If you've tried this Cherry Panna Cotta, let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to rate the recipe! Also, don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, and Instagram to stay updated with any new recipes! If you're a panna cotta lover, check out my Panna Cotta with White Chocolate, Pistachio, and Edible Flowers!
Cherry Panna Cotta
- Panna Cotta
- 1 cup heavy cream 240mL
- ½ cup semi-skimmed or whole milk 125mL
- ½ tbsp. gelatin powder
- 1 tbsp. water cold
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Cherry Topping
- ¾ cup fresh cherries 170g, halved and pitted
- 1 ½ tbsp. sugar
- 4 tbsp. water cold
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest grated
- Prepare the panna cotta: Place gelatin powder in a small microwave-safe bowl, and stir in 1 tbsp. cold water. Mix well to combine. Place bowl in microwave and heat for 20 seconds on low heat and stir until gelatin has melted.
- Place heavy cream, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan on medium-high until mixture starts to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add gelatin mixture and stir well to incorporate. Allow the mixture to cool, and divide between 3 serving glasses. Chill for 4-5 hours until panna cotta has solidified. Consistency should be just firm but smooth, and the panna cotta should wobble or quiver gently when the glass is touched.
- Prepare the cherry topping: Place sugar, 4 tbsp. cold water, and corn flour in a saucepan (without turning on the heat) and whisk well until combined and corn flour is dissolved. Add cherries (halved and pitted), lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick and simmer on medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes until thick syrup is formed and cherries have softened.Transfer cherry topping mixture to a medium bowl and allow to cool completely. Remove and discard cinnamon stick.
- Divide the cherry topping between the panna cotta glasses (about 1-2 tbsp. of topping for each glass). Serve chilled.