This almond-flavoured panna cotta is so beautifully light and creamy flavoured by almond milk and vanilla, and is like eating almond air. Finished off with a drizzle of clementine caramel syrup and topped with fresh juicy clementines, it doesn’t get more delicious than this. Light, fresh, easy to make - you’ll want to add my Clementine Almond Panna Cotta to your ‘must make’ dessert list.
Wow...that’s all I can say. Actually, let me tell you some more. This dessert will blow your mind. It did mine! It's so simple to make with only a handful of ingredients but jeez, the flavour is pure delight. With a light, creamy, smooth yet luxurious texture, this panna cotta literally melts in your mouth.
So exactly what is Panna Cotta?
Well, it originates from Italy, and as far as I’m concerned, everything amazing that comes out of Italy! Technically speaking, it's a sweetened cream that is thickened with gelatine and then set in a mould. The cream itself can be flavoured with vanilla beans, coffee, lemon etc.
More often than not, you’ll see the panna cotta served with a fruit coulis, sauce, compote or caramel and topped with your choice of fruit.
Before I knew what panna cotta was, I used to think it was like a custard-type dessert, but custard requires eggs to thicken it, and panna cotta doesn’t have any.
What are the ingredients used in my Clementine Almond Panna Cotta?
Alright- let us get to the good stuff. The ingredients!
As this one is almond flavoured, instead of using just cream with sugar dissolved it, I wanted to use almond milk. It is January, and that post-Christmas feeling is about going slightly healthier than the Christmas holiday desserts consumed!
- Almond Milk: Forms the base flavour of the panna cotta
- Cream: Provides the rich flavour and texture needed for this dessert
- Sugar: Just a small amount to add sweetness
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds flavour, but also, those little specks are gorgeous sitting on the top of the panna cotta when you unmould it (see them in my image below?!)
- Gelatine Leaves (Gelatine Sheets): An absolute must to set the liquid and create that perfect wobble
How do you unmould panna cotta?
Here’s the deal. I was secretly really nervous about unmoulding them - once you commit to getting them out and then what if they stuck or worse, half come out- game over, ruined. I needn’t have worried.
Here’s a trick that I learned. Grease the moulds with vegetable oil. Wipe any excess off with a paper towel. You want a light layer to cover the surface of the mould you’re using, but not so much that you get a horrid greasy film!
Then once the panna cotta is set, fill a bowl with hot water. Dunk the moulds in the hot water and hold them in there for 10-20 seconds. Then place your serving plate on top of the mould and quickly and confidently invert the mould. Tap the base of your mould a couple of times, and the panna cotta should then slide down onto the plate. (If it doesn’t, then place the mould back into the water, and before inverting, use a sharp knife and run the blade around the edge of the mould and repeat.
When the panna cotta is inverted onto your plate, give it a little jiggle - if it wobbles, then that’s perfect (I’ve heard some describe it as a boob wobble. Ha!)
But don't worry if you are terrified of de-moulding.
Guess what. You don't have to remove it from the mould at all. Why not choose a beautiful glass to pour the cream mixture into and allow it to set in there? When ready to serve, just pour some syrup over, add the fruit and nuts, and you have yourself a beautiful dessert!
How to make the Clementine Caramel Syrup
With only three ingredients, it couldn’t be easier...or tastier!
Butter. Sugar. Clementine Juice. That's it!
Place the sugar in a small pan over medium heat and stir whilst the sugar dissolves and slowly turns to a golden colour. Add the knob of butter and stir till it melts. The caramel may feel like it's thickening up, so add the clementine juice and stir until combined. The juice stops the caramel from solidifying. Heat until it has thickened slightly into a syrup and then pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Don't pour it hot onto your panna cotta as it'll just melt it.
Can panna cotta be made in advance and stored?
The answer is yes and yes. How great is that!
It can be refrigerated and covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Now, my Panna cottas never last that long so I haven’t tested how they would be to unmould after those three days. To be on the safe side, I would de-mould them first, then cling wrap gently and refrigerate.
If you fancy trying any other fruity desserts, then check out the following recipes:
- Dulche de Leche Clementine Cake
- Fruit Pavlova with Roasted Plums and Fresh Figs
- Roasted Strawberry Mascarpone Ice-cream
Clementine Almond Panna Cotta Recipe
Almond panna cotta
- 6 gelatine leaves (gelatine sheets), + bowl cold water
- 300 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 100 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 600 ml unsweetened almond milk
Clementine caramel syrup
- 80 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 80 ml clementines, juice
- clementine slices or segments
- 40 g almond flakes, toasted
- Place the gelatine leaves into the bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, place cream, vanilla bean paste and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat and heat gently. (Do not let it come to a boil)
- Drain and squeeze out the excess water from the leaves and add to the cream. Stir constantly until the gelatine has dissolved. Add the almond milk and stir to combine.
- Grease your moulds or ramekins with a light layer of vegetable oil. Pour the cream mixture into the 6 moulds and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours or until completely set.
Clementine caramel syrup
- Place the sugar in a small pan over medium heat and stir whilst the sugar dissolves and slowly turns to a golden colour. Add the butter and stir until it melts. The caramel may feel like its thickening up, so add the clementine juice and stir until combined. The juice stops the caramel from solidifying. Heat until it has thickened slightly, into a syrup and then pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
- To de-mould, fill a bowl with hot tap water and place the mould in for 10-20 seconds, remove from the water and place the serving plate over the ramekin and invert. Tap the base of the mould a couple of times and the panna cotta will slide down onto your plate.
- Pour the syrup onto each of the panna cotta, top with clementine slices or segments and toasted almonds. Enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.