Latte Who? Meet the Golden Milk Panna Cotta

June 26, 2017

I do love a creamy, quivering, perfect panna cotta. I love it plain—or with a little saucy crushed fruit or berry compote as I often enjoyed it in Italy. I love it made with buttermilk too.

Even though plain is perfect, panna cotta is an exquisite medium for flavors. Over the years, I’ve made swoon-worthy versions by infusing the cream with jasmine tea or cacao nibs or saffron and cardamom or an interesting honey. Now, it’s totally time for turmeric!

Golden latte? Nah! Photo by Bobbi Lin

Golden milk—turmeric and honey blended into hot milk (dairy or otherwise) with a little black pepper—translates effortlessly into this Western dessert. Although I was inspired by the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, I hesitate to make health claims for the resulting dessert. When I make a new chocolate dessert, I never mention the antioxidants in the chocolate as I proceed to blend said chocolate with oodles of butter or cream and sugar! This is dessert, people. Let it be decadent and a little bit naughty. Let it be the occasional reward for eating well and exercising.

I found that the translation of golden milk into dessert required more restraint with the turmeric and pepper than you might exercise when making a tonic cup of golden milk. At first—I admit trying to push the health theme—I was intent on using as much turmeric as possible. I also tried versions more akin to turmeric tea, with black tea, cardamom, and ginger. All tasted muddy, or too strong, or as though they really wanted to be some kind of curry. In the end, I focused only on creating a successful dessert—retreating to a gentle balance of turmeric and honey with a whisper of black pepper. Let’s call any incidental health benefits a happy bonus.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jo Michie
    Jo Michie
  • Paula C
    Paula C
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Jo M. August 5, 2017
Looking forward to making this in Beijing. Often struggle to find fresh raspberries/strawberries, so glad to see a recipe that is happy with frozen fruit.
Paula C. June 29, 2017
What type of cream is recommended...whipping, heavy, etc.?