This Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry and Honey is the ultimate summer dessert! It’s cold and silky smooth. You get the richness but there is also a little tanginess from the yogurt. Top with fresh berries and drizzle with a floral honey syrup. Pretty perfect!
It has been a warm week in Southern California. For many years, Bryan and I lived near the coast. It can get hot every now and then, but we got saved many times by the marine layers. Now, we live on the other side of Los Angeles in a valley, which can get really hot in summer, like 100˚F. In general, the temperature difference between coast and the valley can be like 10 – 20˚F. Today’s high is 84˚F. It’s not even scorching hot yet, but all I can think about is cold treat.
So this week, I’m sharing these sweet panna cotta cups that are cold and can be made ahead. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert that is made with cream or milk and gelatin. It’s creamy, smooth and sweet. The great thing is that it’s really easy to do and you can make many portions. It’s one of the best desserts to serve in a dinner party. Over the years, I have made a few versions, lemon with grapes, mango and lemon with raspberry.
This time, I added greek yogurt into the panna cotta, so it’s a little tangy. I like that combination of flavors a lot. To make the panna cotta, first start with gelatin. Whisk together unflavored gelatin and a little bit cold milk. Let the gelatin sit and bloom. Then, cook milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and the gelatin until warm through and everything has dissolved. Do not bring to a simmer or boil. Remove from heat and cool until just a little bit warm, stir in the yogurt.
Now, you can either put them in glass cups, ramekins, or silicone molds. Personally, I like glass cups. They’re pretty and no need to unmold. But pick what you like. Chill the panna cotta in the fridge to set, at least 4 hours.
For toppings, I played with the idea of yogurt for breakfast. I went with fresh strawberries and honey syrup. Any berries will work. The syrup is a combination of honey and water. Just bring to a simmer, then cool in the fridge. It can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks and it won’t thicken up.
This panna cotta is creamy, silky smooth, little tangy and not overly sweet. They can be made a couple days ahead. When ready to serve, just top with strawberries and drizzle with honey syrup. They’re perfect little dessert that requires very little work. Treat them yourself or serve them at a dinner party. Enjoy!
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry and Honey
- 1 package unflavored gelatin (0.25-ounce)
- 1 cup plus ¼ cup cold milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 6 – 7 fresh strawberries
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- Start by picking 6 (½ cup) glass cups, containers or silicone mold. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add ¼ cup cold milk. Sprinkle the gelatin over and whisk for 10 seconds. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together 1 cup milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and soften gelatin. Cook the mixture until warm through, and both sugar and gelatin have dissolved, about 170˚F, whisking occasionally. Do not bring to a simmer or boil. Remove from heat to cool until just a little warm, about 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the yogurt and whisk to loosen up. While whisking, slowly add the warm milk. Whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture into the chosen containers. Chill the panna cotta uncovered in the fridge until set, at least 4 hours. Cover with plastic wrap once cooled.
- For the syrup, combine honey and water in a small pot. Bring to just a simmer over medium heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
- When ready to serve, cut 3 strawberries into halves and the rest into ¼-inch cubes.
- To assemble, remove the panna cotta from mold if needed. Top each serving with about 1 teaspoon strawberries cubes, half a strawberry and drizzle with about 1½ tablespoons honey syrup. Serve cold.
- For the yogurt, I used Fage Total 2%.
- For the honey, I used raw honey. Some honey in supermarket is not pure honey, it may contain corn syrup. Look for “raw honey”. It’s 100% honey with more flavors and more health benefits.
- Tips for unmolding: Run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin (just the top part, not all the way to the bottom. Dip the ramekin in the medium bowl of warm water up to the rim, for 3 seconds. Invert onto a plate and unmold.