Thursday, 25 December 2014

White Chocolate Panna Cotta served with Honey-Roasted Figs & Walnuts

We love Panna Cotta in our house. It is naturally gluten free and even when you are completely stuffed from starters and mains, it always manages to slide down really easily.

This particular Panna Cotta combo is inspired by December's We Should Cocoa. I had already planned on making a White Chocolate Panna Cotta for Christmas Day dessert. I often make a vanilla Panna Cotta, which I serve with red berries and berry coulis, but this Christmas, I have gone for something very different and a little bit extra special. White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Honey-Roasted Figs & Walnuts.

This month's We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by the very talented Choclette at the Chocolate Log Blog, combines chocolate with fig. The combination of White Chocolate, smooth, creamy Panna Cotta and large, juicy pink fig is perfectly delicious and wonderfully decadent for the Christmas feast. And much as I enjoy them, it is also a welcome change from the usual raspberry and blueberry accompaniment.

These figs have been roasted with honey, cinnamon and a little lemon zest, making them especially seasonal. They contrast beautifully, both in colour and texture with the creamy Panna Cotta, but the addition of a sprinkle of chopped walnuts and crisp white chocolate stars adds a touch of crunch to the proceedings.

One of the things I adore about figs is that they look quite plain on the outside....... smooth and green or purple in colour...... but nothing spectacular........ Yet they hide an amazing, vibrant, rich, perfectly hued secret with their sweet, exotic, soft, pinky-red flesh fit for any celebration. With this pud it is neither the Panna Cotta nor the fig that over-shadow. Both are equal stars, sharing the edible stage.

The Panna Cotta is totally to die for.......... Smooth, melty, amazingly creamy, deep with caramel tones from the white chocolate and vanilla, but still with the required 'wobble' that defines it as being the exactly required Panna Cotta texture. Italian dessert at its best.......

Need I say more?

I am additionally sharing my Panna Cotta served with honey-roasted figs & walnuts with Cook, Blog, Share hosted by Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta served with Honey-Roast Figs & Walnuts (makes 6 servings)


Panna Cotta
10g gelatine leaves
210 ml whole milk
400 ml double cream
80g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100g good quality white chocolate (I used Green & Blacks organic) - chopped 

Roasted Figs
6 large fresh figs
1 tablespoon runny honey per fig
ground cinnamon to dust
finely grated zest of 1 to 2 lemons

A little extra honey to drizzle
6 walnuts - shelled and chopped
white chocolate sprinkles


  1. Panna Cotta : Place 6 individual non-stick pudding basins (or equivalent) in the freezer to chill.
  2. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften for 5 minutes as per instructions on the packet.
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is just below simmering point and then remove from the heat immediately. Do not allow to boil.
  4. Drain the gelatine and squeeze out any excess water and add to the hot milk, stirring until completely dissolved.
  5. Pour the cream into a larger saucepan and add the sugar and vanilla paste. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. As soon as it starts to boil, remove immediately from the heat.
  6. Add the white chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth.
  7. Pour the milk-gelatine mix into the cream-chocolate pan and stir until fully combined.
  8. Take the moulds from the freezer and pour the panna cotta mixture through a tea strainer or sieve into the moulds, in equal portions.
  9. Cool the puddings as quickly as possible (I also covered the moulds with cling film to limit a skin forming). Chill until completely set.
  10. Figs : Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6. Trim the tip of the figs slightly and score a cross in the tops.
  11. Squeeze the sides gently to push the centre of each fig open slightly and place in a heat-proof dish.
  12. Drizzle each fig with a tablespoon of honey, a dusting of ground cinnamon and a sprinkle of finely grated lemon zest.
  13. Roast for 6 to 8 minutes until the honey has caramelised, then remove and allow to cool.
  14. To serve : Gently warm the outside of each pudding basin and carefully tip the panna cottas onto serving plates. 
  15. Place a fig next to each pudding and drizzle it with a little extra honey.
  16. Sprinkle chopped walnut and white chocolate sprinkles onto the fig and panna cotta and serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated


  1. what an elegant festive dessert - hope you had a great Christmas

    1. Thanks Johanna. We certainly did..... hope you did too. The figs were amazing. I reckon they would be lovely with or without the panna cotta (although, the combination is wonderful).

  2. That looks amazing and very festive. You've got such a shine on it

    1. Thanks Katie. The shine made it quite tricky to photograph, but it tasted great!

  3. Delicious! Have bought the figs and going to make it. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Good thing Lucy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Let me know how it goes x

  4. Looks really impressive and I bet it tasted amazing especially with the figs. Hope you had a good Christmas. Happy New Year in advance x

    1. Happy New Year to you too. I reckon the colour of the figs would make any dessert impressive. But this one did taste delicious.

  5. This looks absolutely perfect Kate and your pictures are fantabulous as always. I adore panna cotta, but I've never made it. As I can't eat gelatine, I'm a bit worried about trying it out with seaweed instead. Pairing figs and white chocolate is a new one on me and it's one I will now have to try.

    Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa - it's a very select band this month. Hope you had a great Christmas and I wish you and your family the very best for 2015.

    1. Thanks Choclette. Shame you haven't found a good alternative to gelatine. Keep trying.... Panna Cotta is one of life's delights and the white chocolate-fig pairing is absolutely lovely.
      I hope you are feeling better. All the best for 2015 to you also.

  6. This is wonderful. I really love the figs with the panna cotta. A super delicious recipe!


I always LOVE to hear from you, so please leave a comment, share your thoughts and stay in touch.

By leaving a comment, you consent to any personal information you choose to share being collected by Gluten Free Alchemist for statistical and monitoring purposes and you enter into a public conversation linked to the post. You may choose to make your comment anonymous by ticking the relevant check-box. For full details of the GFA Privacy Policy, please click on the signposted label at the top of the page.