Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Salsa


I first tried a panna cotta at the menu tasting before our wedding. I thought it was magic. Creamy and lightly flavoured with passionfruit and mango. It was the one thing I insisted on having on the menu.

On the night of the wedding, we were frantically busy, trying to meet and forge a meaningful memory with all of our 230 guests. I watched the waiters closely, and as they bought out the desserts I rushed backed to the table, stuffed a few generous mouthfuls in and continued on my merry way. There was no way I was missing out on panna cotta.

I’ve been making panna cottas at home ever since. They are a fabulous make-ahead dessert. They refrigerate well and look impressive served with colourful and tart berries. In the summer, I make a simple salsa of summer fruit; berries, peaches, mangoes and pineapple, which perfectly complements the sweet creaminess of the panna cotta. This is fabulous served with a simple berry puree or compote.


Serve these in moulds or ramekins, or if you have neither tea cups work a treat and look super cute.


  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
  • 1.5 cups fruit cut into small cubes berries(1 used, strawberries, kiwifruit, mango and blackberries)
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar (if your fruits are tart)
  • squeeze of lime
  • 1 small tin of passionfruit syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract



Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

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