Saffron panna cotta

Saffron panna cotta

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

This panna cotta is the perfect example of how savoury ingredients can be used in desserts. This can be served as a pre-dessert in a little egg cup (the saffron pana cotta representing the yolk and the yoghurt the white) or as a main dessert served in coffee cups or ramekins.


Quantity Ingredient
15 egg shells, trimmed carefully and washed thoroughly, (optional)

Yoghurt foam

Quantity Ingredient
700g plain yoghurt
300ml pouring cream
150g caster sugar

Coffee crumbs

Quantity Ingredient
100g Frangipane
1 tsp ground coffee

Panna cotta

Quantity Ingredient
300ml pouring cream
80ml full-cream milk
80g caster sugar
2 coffee beans
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 tsp saffron threads
2 gold-strength gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes


  1. To make the yoghurt foam, combine all of the ingredients in a cream whipper and charge twice, or beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. To make the coffee crumbs, place the cooked chocolate frangipane in a food processor and process to make a fine powder. Mix with the coffee and set aside.
  3. To make the panna cotta, place the cream, milk, sugar, coffee beans, vanilla bean and seeds and saffron into a large saucepan over medium heat. When the cream almost comes to the boil, remove from the stove. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine and whisk into the hot cream until dissolved. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
  4. Pour the cream mixture into a bowl set over a bowl of ice and allow to cool, whisking every few minutes. After about 15 minutes the cream will be ready to be poured into moulds. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the saffron to the panna cotta and whisk to combine.
  5. If serving in egg shells, place the shells in an egg carton and fill two-thirds of the way up with the saffron mixture. Alternatively, divide the mixture between four ramekins or serving glasses. Refrigerate for 3 hours to set.
  6. Top each panna cotta with yoghurt foam and sprinkle generously with the coffee crumbs.
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