Vanilla Panna Cotta with Grapefruit Syrup

Apr 03, 2009 by kiteless | 0 Comments| Share it:   



2 ratings


Buttermilk-Vanilla Panna Cotta with Ginger-Grapefruit Syrup and Honey Pearls

Creamy, mildly sweet, delicate vanilla panna cotta has a bit of tang from the buttermilk, and is given an ethereal halo of lightly sweet honey pearls and tangy-bitter grapefruit. And I finally got to use the calcium chloride and sodium alginate that had been sitting in our cupboard for at least a year! This is so easy to make - both the panna cotta and the pearls - that I’ll definitely make them again. The hardest part was actually getting the panna cotta out of the ramekin!

How to make Panna Cotta:


  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 4

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1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 oz envelope gelatin powder

See below for additional ingredients you will need.

Step 1

For the grapefruit syrup: 1/4 cup reserved ginger simple syrup Juice of 1/2 a pink grapefruit, reserving some pulp pieces for garnish 1 TB honey For the honey pearls: 2.25 grams or .079 ounces calcium chloride* 1 gram or .03 ounces sodium alginate* 100 grams or 3.5 ounces honey *buy at


Step 2

Scrape the vanilla bean seeds.


Step 3

In a medium saucepan, pour in 1 cup of cream and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low lightly whisk until gelatin is dissolved, another 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla beans and pod, sugar, and remaining cream and buttermilk. Mix, turn heat to medium, and watch closely until milk starts to steam. When milk steams, remove from heat, put on the lid, and let steep for 15 minutes.


Step 4

When done steeping, remove pod and pour into ramekins. Refrigerate for minimum 4 to 24 hours.


Step 5

To make the honey pearls: Dissolve 2.25 grams or .079 ounces calcium chloride in 500 grams or 17.6 ounces of water in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, blend 1 g or .03 ounces sodium algenate in 100 grams or 3.5 ounces water. Add 100 grams or 3.5 ounces honey. Put honey mixture into a dropper bottle. Drop honey mixture into the bowl with calcium chloride. Let sit for a little over 1 minute, then strain out. Rinse with water and serve (pearls keep at least 30 minutes).


Step 6

Close up of honey pearls: Click image to enlarge.


Step 7

To assemble: Remove panna cotta by dunking ramekin in hot water for about 10-15 seconds, then dropping upside down onto plate. Mix ingredients for grapefruit syrup and drizzle on the plate, scatter pearls and individual grapefruit pulp around panna cotta. Serve.

Now that you have learned how to make vanilla panna cotta with grapefruit syrup, please be sure to view these other custard recipes. Also, you will love these Italian recipes.


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