Panna Cotta Infused with Bergamot Tea

February 19, 2013
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 6
Author Notes

I love Ahmad Afternoon Tea - a bracing cuppa with a fragrant hint of bergamot (in this case, the peel of the ungainly citrus fruit, not the herb of the same name). A creamy panna cotta is warmed by the smokiness of the tea and a splash of bourbon. And a simple compote of dried, cold weather cranberries reinforces the tea theme. In summer, I switch to fresh raspberries.

Earl Grey delivers similar but more delicate results. If you substitute it for Ahmad Afternoon, add a scoop of a strong, breakfast-type blend. —Marie Viljoen

Test Kitchen Notes

I loved the addition of bourbon to the panna cotta; it was a beautifully smoky background to the milky flavor. And the cherries made a tart, boozy complement to the creamy panna cotta. Next time, I'll steep the tea a bit more for a stronger flavor. —Omeletta

What You'll Need
  • Panna Cotta
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 packet powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 strips lemon zest, 3" x .25"
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons strong bergamot tea (brewed about 5 minutes)
  • Bergamot-Infused Cranberry Compote
  • 1 cup strong bergamot tea (brewed about 5 minutes)
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Panna Cotta
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the gelatin over the milk to soften.
  4. Stir thoroughly to dissolve.
  5. In another saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of the cream, the sugar, and the lemon zest, stirring the mixture to dissolve the sugar.
  6. Bring the mixture to a brief boil, then immediately remove it from the heat.
  7. Take out the strips of lemon zest.
  8. Add the warm milk and gelatin mixture to the hot cream and whisk very well to dissolve any stubborn gelatin lumps.
  9. Pour through a strainer into a bowl, and leave to cool
  10. Add 1 tablespoon of bourbon and 2 tablespoons of strong tea.
  11. Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream to soft peaks.
  12. Mix gently into the cooled cream mixture.
  13. Swirl the remaining tablespoon of bourbon around the base and sides of each panna cotta mold to wet each one, pouring it into the next mold when one has been wet (use more if you run out!).
  14. Pour the cream mixture into small, individual molds, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours.
  15. To unmold, slide a knife dipped in boiling water around the edge of each mold, or dip mold briefly in hot water. Invert swiftly onto individual plates.
  1. Bergamot-Infused Cranberry Compote
  2. Pour the hot tea and the bourbon over the cranberries and leave to infuse for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight, in the fridge.
  3. To serve, scatter a couple of tablespoons of plump cranberries around each unmolded panna cotta.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • M Helen
    M Helen
  • Charlotte
  • MQAvatar
  • Marie Viljoen
    Marie Viljoen

5 Reviews

M H. December 29, 2018
Just tried this today, but it ended up just being a thicker whipped cream instead of a panda cotta texture. I'm not sure where I went wrong. Any suggestions?
Charlotte August 2, 2016
Hi! Could you please specify the approximate weight of "1 packet powdered gelatin" in grams? This one calls for some guesswork on my part.
Marie V. August 2, 2016
Hi Charlotte - I had to google it as I have no gelatin in the house :-) 1 packet/pouch/sachet of gelatin is 1/2 oz or 2 1/2 teaspoons.
Fiona M. November 4, 2014
Hi MQAvatar,

In order to steep properly, the temperature of the liquid must be at the right temperature (near boiling or above depending on the sort of tea). Water is the best medium here. Boiling milk and then adding tea to it would definitely alter the taste of the tea. Milk also cools at a faster temperature, which would effect the steeping of the tea.

Cutting corners is great, but don't do it for tea!
All the best.
MQAvatar July 1, 2014
Lovely idea! I really like the flavors. Why not steep the tea directly in the milk?