Vanilla bean panacotta with strawberry salad

It may look and taste fancy, but this vanilla bean panacotta is super easy!

I learnt this during the Masterclass I had last month with Oakdene restaurant head chef Marty Chichester where we also made oysters, chilli mud crab and lobsters with garlic butter. It was an amazing experience for me, because I was intimidated by all the ingredients we cooked with that night. But, once I knew what I was doing I discoveed that these types of seafood are quite easy to prepare – and I know it would even be the case for people who aren’t too confident overall in their cooking abilities. In saying that, put these dishes in front of your friends the next time you invite them around for dinner, and they’ll be nothing short of impressed. So, if you missed those great recipes, be sure to check them out and give them a try. If you follow the recipes and tips, you can’t go wrong.

This dessert is the same. It sounds daunting, but it’s not at all – and this is coming from someone who’s terrified of making sweets!

The strawberry salad is also simple, but gorgeously sweet and scrumptious. strawberries are in season at the moment, so now is the best time to give it a try. It’d also work very well with some pancakes, or as a side to a rich chocolate cake.

Vanilla Bean Panacotta

  • 200ml of thickened cream
  • 75ml of full cream milk
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and deseeded
  • 1/2 a sheet of gelatin
  • 50gm of sugar


Dissolve the gelatin in ice-cold water for 10 minutes, until it becomes pliable.

Heat the cream, milk and sugar until just before it boils. Do not let it come to a boil, so it’s best to stay with the pan while it’s heating and remove it as soon as you see the liquid starting to wobble.

Remove from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes is up, remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out the excess water.

Add it to the panacotta mix and stir it until it dissolves completely .

You can pass the panacotta liquid through a fine sieve at this point, but I actually like the look of the little black dots from the vanilla bean. It’s up to you.

Pour the mixture evenly between four cocktail glasses. and pop them in the fridge straight away. It’ll need to set for about two hours.

The other great thing about this recipe is it’s pretty quick, but can be made the night before. When you are ready to serve, make the strawberry salad, which is so simple it doesn’t need a recipe.

Remove the green tops from a punnett of strawberries. Cut into quarters. Place in a bowl and mix with 2 tsp of icing sugar. Taste one of the strawberry pieces. If you think it needs a little more sweetness, add some more icing sugar until you are happy with the flavour. I think next time I make this I’ll add a touch of masala. I think it would taste gorgeous!

To serve, scoop the strawberry salad on top of the panacotta.

You will enjoy every mouthful of this dessert. Once you have made it once, I’m sure it will become a recipe you’ll make over and over and your friends will be begging you for the recipe!


About Lisa Mary Foreman @ Uforic Food

I'm the creator Uforic Food - a blog compiled by three journalists whose talents lie in telling fabulous food stories. I'm on a journey to prove you can be healthy and passionate about food at the same time. Ruza lives in the city and is all about sharing her urban food experiences. Laura is the domestic goddess of the group and loves all things food, family and from the heart. Join us at the Uforic Food table where we share recipes, reviews, and all things food. If you'd like to get in touch, email me at

Posted on March 10, 2011, in Cooking techniques, Deserts, Italian, Recipes, summer treats and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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