Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Gelée

Creamy, vanilla bean panna cotta topped with strawberry sauce is the perfect party dessert!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 6 servings

Smooth and creamy vanilla bean panna cotta and strawberry gelée are served on the diagonal in individual wine glasses. These beautiful and tasty desserts are perfect for weddings, bridal showers, or any special occasion.

Each bite of this dessert packs a punch of vibrant strawberries paired with creamy and sweet panna cotta. This elegant dessert is excellent for celebrations like bridal showers and weddings, or even as a special dessert for a romantic date night at home!

What’s great about panna cotta is you can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 7 days before you add in the strawberry. Chef Christophe Rull makes a beautiful presentation inside of a wine glass, but you can also prepare it in any vessel you like (it would look stunning in a martini glass, too!)

Panna Cotta Ingredients

panna cotta ingredients

Gelatin: You will need gelatin (or agar-agar which is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin) in order to set your panna cotta. Either gelatin (or agar-agar) is needed to bind the ingredients together and transform the cream into a more solid form. If you do not have gelatin sheets you can also use powdered gelatin in place of the sheets (10 grams of powdered gelatin and 50 grams of water).

Vanilla bean: For more delicate desserts like this one, the quality of the vanilla you use really matters. Don’t have a vanilla bean? No problem! You can substitute with 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or a high-quality vanilla extract (and you will skip the step in the recipe that requires you to strain the vanilla pod and seeds from the cream).

Preparing the Strawberry Gelée

  1. First, you will begin by preparing the strawberry juice to make the jelly. To do this, combine the strawberries and the sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Either frozen or fresh strawberries will work for this.pouring sugar over strawberries in a bowlmixing strawberries and sugar together with a spatula
  2. Then, wrap the top of the bowl with plastic wrap to create a steam environment in the bowl. This is to extract as much juice and flavor from the berries as possible without losing moisture.bowl of strawberries on oven covered with plastic wrap
  3. Place the bowl on a double boiler and let it cook for 1 hour over medium . Once your berries have reduced, the berries should appear to be swimming in their own juice.top down view of strawberries inside bowl sitting inside strawberry juice
  4. Next, after the berries have reduced you will strain the berries over a chinois (fine mesh strainer) lined with a cheesecloth or a paper towel. This will remove all of the berry fibers and leave a beautiful, clear strawberry juice.hands inside of a cheesecloth over a strainerhand guiding a bowl of strawberries through a strainerstrainer inside of a large measuring cup with strawberry juice dripping

How to Make Panna Cotta

  1. In a bowl, measure 6 times the amount of cool water as gelatin. So for 8 grams of gelatin, you will need 48 grams of water. Place the sheets of gelatin in the water one at a time while making sure that they do not stick together. Let them bloom while you prepare the cream.hands holding a sheet of gelatin above a bowl of water
  2. Next, using a paring knife, split your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the pod. You will want to keep the pod so you can steep it in your cream.splitting a vanilla bean pod
  3. Then, in a sauce pan, combine your heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean (both the seeds and the pod).vanilla bean pod and seeds sauce pan on top of cream
  4. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it is boiling.whisk resting over saucepan
  5. Once the cream mixture is boiling, remove it from the heat and strain it through a fine, mesh strainer or a chinois into a bowl.hand holding a strainer with vanilla bean pod inside over a cup
  6. With your hands, squeeze out the excess water from your bloomed gelatin sheets and then add them to the strained hot cream mixture. Stir until they are combined.hands shown squeezing water out of gelatin sheethand dropping gelatin inside of a saucepan
  7. Finally, add in your buttermilk and stir until they are combined and the gelatin has fully melted.whisking in saucepan

Assembling the Panna Cotta

  1. Prepare your serving glasses or containers. PRO TIP: We used water to decide what angle we wanted our panna cotta to set at, and then cleaned and dried the glasses to get them ready for the panna cotta to be poured into. Make sure they are stable so they can be moved to the refrigerator carefully without spilling or sloshing. We used a non-skid mat and a cupcake tin to hold our glasses steady.muffin pan with 2 cups laying at an angle inside
  2. Slowly pour your panna cotta into the glasses to your desired volume. We chose to fill ours with about 6 ounces of panna cotta mixture in each glass.pouring mixture into a wine glass that's sitting at a slight angle
  3. Place the panna cotta in the fridge to completely set (it could take 5-6 hours). It should be firm with no movement when you gently tilt or shake the glass.panna cotta sitting at an angle inside of a wine glass
  4. Now, you will bloom your gelatin sheets for the strawberry jelly. In a bowl, measure 6 times the amount of cool water as gelatin. So for 8 grams of gelatin you will need 48 grams of water.
  5. Using a scale, measure 500 grams of the strawberry juice in a pourable container.bowl of strained strawberry juice
  6. Place the sheets of gelatin in the cool water one at a time while making sure they are not stuck together. Let them bloom for about 5 minutes.
  7. Next, squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheets and then microwave it 30 seconds at a time to melt it. You only want to melt the gelatin (be careful not to boil it).
  8. Then, carefully pour the melted gelatin into the strawberry liquid. The juice should still be warm enough to melt the gelatin once added and mixed.hands shown pouring and whisking ingredients
  9. Gently stir them until they are combined. You do not want to incorporate too many bubbles. Allow them to cool to about 70ºF (21ºC).whisk inside of large measuring bowl
  10. Remove the stems from your strawberries and slice them into sections. Add the sliced strawberries on top of the panna cotta. hands shown chopping up strawberrieshand shown dropping strawberry pieces into wine glass filled with panna cotta
  11. Next, slowly pour the jelly mix over the strawberries until the volume matches the level of the panna cotta.pouring strawberry mixture over wine glass filled with strawberries on top of panna cotta
  12. Then, carefully place the panna cotta glasses back into the fridge for another 2 hours until the strawberry jelly is set.
  13. Panna cotta is either served chilled or at room temperature. Whatever you prefer! Garnish with edible gold and enjoy! dessert plate presentation of panna cotta with strawberry

FAQ

What does panna cotta taste like?

Silky, vanilla cream that has a thicker texture with a slight giggle.

What does panna cotta mean?

Cooked cream.

Can you make this dairy-free?

Absolutely! You can replace the heavy whipping cream with almond milk or coconut milk.

Could I use raspberry instead of strawberry for this recipe?

Yes! If you make it, be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook @sugargeekshow

What’s the difference between panna cotta and crème brûlée?

Panna cotta is gelatinized sweet cream prepared in the refrigerator, andcrème brûlée is an egg custard that is baked in the oven and topped with crystallized sugar.

Is panna cotta like flan?

Yes, both are creamy desserts that have a slight giggle to them. But they are prepared in different ways and do not share similar flavors. Panna cotta is sweet cream that is thickened with gelatin, and flan is a custard made with eggs and surrounded by liquid caramel to give it a warmer, nuttier taste.

What kind of gelatin should I use?

You can use any kind of gelatin (or agar-agar) you prefer. You could also make your own gelatin sheet if you plan on needing more gelatin in the future.

Can I use anything other than gelatin to set it?

Yes, you can use agar-agar. Keep in mind, if you use agar-agar as a substitute you will have slightly different (firmer) results.

Can I use powdered gelatin?

Yep! Just replace the sheet gelatin with an equal amount of powdered gelatin. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it absorb for 5 minutes.

Why is my panna cotta not setting?

You either did not incorporate enough gelatin (or agar-agar), or it needs to sit in the refrigerator a bit longer.

Why is my panna cotta separating?

Your gelatin did not bloom properly, or you did not squeeze out the excess water. To avoid this, set your gelatin in water and allow it to bloom (i.e. absorb liquid) for 5 minutes before using your hands to squeeze out any excess water. When the fat from the cream separates from the water in the gelatin, it creates two distinct layers that will separate your panna cotta.

golden spoon scooping a bite-size amount of panna cotta with strawberry gelée

More Recipes You’ll Love

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Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Gelée

Creamy, vanilla bean panna cotta topped with strawberry sauce is the perfect party dessert!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 6 servings
Calories: 360kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Gelée

  • 1000 grams strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 8 grams sheet gelatin
  • 48 Grams water

Vanilla Panna Cotta

  • 225 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 100 grams buttermilk
  • 45 grams sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 8 grams sheet gelatin
  • 48 Grams water

Instructions

Preparing the Strawberry Gelée

  • First, you will begin by preparing the strawberry juice to make the jelly. To do this, combine the strawberries and the sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Either frozen or fresh strawberries will work for this.
  • Then, wrap the top of the bowl with plastic wrap to create a steam environment in the bowl. This is to extract as much juice and flavor from the berries as possible without losing moisture.
  • Place the bowl on a double boiler and let it cook for 1 hour over medium heat. Once your berries have reduced, the berries should appear to be swimming in their own juice.
  • Next, after the berries have reduced you will strain the berries over a chinois lined with a cheesecloth or a paper towel. This will remove all of the berry fibers and leave a beautiful, clear red liquid.

Making the Panna Cotta

  • In a bowl, measure 6 times the amount of cool water as gelatin. So for 8 grams of gelatin, you will need 48 grams of water. Place the sheets of gelatin in the water one at a time while making sure that they do not stick together. Let them bloom while you prepare the cream. *See the notes section below if you want to use powdered gelatin.
  • Next, using a paring knife, split your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the pod. You will want to keep the pod so you can steep it in your cream.
  • Then, in a sauce pan, combine your heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean (both the seeds and the pod).
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat until it is boiling.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, turn off the heat. Squeeze out the excess water from your bloomed gelatin sheets and then add them to the hot cream mixture. Stir until they are combined and the gelatin is melted.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine, mesh strainer or a chinois into a bowl.
  • Finally, add in your buttermilk and stir until they are combined.

Assembling the Panna Cotta Dessert Glasses

  • Prepare your serving glasses or containers. PRO TIP: We used water to decide what angle we wanted our panna cotta to set at, and then cleaned and dried the glasses to get them ready for the panna cotta to be poured into. Make sure they are stable so they can be moved to the refrigerator carefully without spilling or sloshing.
  • Slowly pour your panna cotta into the glasses to your desired volume. We chose to fill ours with about 6 ounces each.
  • Place the panna cotta in the fridge to completely set (it could take 5-6 hours). It should be firm with no movement when you gently tilt or shake the glass.
  • Now, you will bloom your gelatin sheets for the strawberry jelly. In a bowl, measure 6 times the amount of cool water as gelatin. So for 8 grams of gelatin you will need 48 grams of water.
  • Using a scale, measure 500 grams of the strawberry juice in a pourable container.
  • Place the sheets of gelatin in the cool water one at a time while making sure they are not stuck together. Let them bloom for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheets and then add them to the strawberry liquid. The juice should still be warm enough to melt the gelatin once added and mixed.
  • Gently stir them until they are combined. You do not want to incorporate too many bubbles. Allow them to cool to about 70ºF (21ºC).
  • Stand the set panna cotta glasses upright and then add sliced strawberries to the empty void in the glass to your desired height.
  • Next, slowly pour the jelly mix over the strawberries until the volume matches the level of the panna cotta.
  • Then, carefully place the panna cotta glasses back into the fridge for another 2 hours until the strawberry jelly is set.
  • Panna cotta is either served chilled or a room temperature. Whatever you prefer! (Optional) Garnish with edible gold and enjoy!

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. You can make this a dairy-free recipe by replacing the cream with almond milk or coconut milk.
  2. If you do not have gelatin sheets you can use powdered gelatin. Mix together 10 grams of powdered gelatin and 50 grams of cold water and let it bloom for 5 minutes (one each for the panna cotta and one for the strawberry gelee).
  3. Need a vegetarian substitute for gelatin? You can use agar-agar.
  4. Once you add the gelatin to your cream, you do not want to boil the liquid again. Why? Because it will cause the cream and the gelatin to separate.
  5. Need to make this for a party? You can make and set your panna cotta for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Just be sure to not add in any strawberry or sauce until a few hours before you’re ready to serve it. 
  6. If you want an easier substitute for the strawberry concentrate, check out my strawberry reduction recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 360kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 56g (19%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 15g (23%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (45%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 53mg (18%) | Sodium: 40mg (2%) | Potassium: 307mg (9%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 50g (56%) | Vitamin A: 599IU (12%) | Vitamin C: 98mg (119%) | Calcium: 73mg (7%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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