Make Ahead

Citrus Yogurt Panna Cotta with Honeycomb

March 15, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This low-fat panna cotta is very simple to make – all you have to do is boil water and open a can. The garnishes, however, are fancy. Sectioned oranges add brightness. Honeycomb lends crunch and sparkle, a touch inspired by a visit to the restaurant Ame in San Francisco. I use sweetened condensed milk to simulate Vietnamese style yogurt, which a good friend showed me how to culture. It is sweeter than regular plain yogurt but still has that lovely tang. —monkeymom

Test Kitchen Notes

Making the panna cotta is simple and the directions are straightforward -- the only problem being an omission of how long the panna cotta needs to set up in the refrigerator. I would give it at least 6 hours or overnight to achieve the desired consistency. The panna cotta is just a touch tangy and not too heavy or sweet. It's a little plain on its own, so definitely plan to serve it with the accompaniments monkeymom suggests. The directions for the honeycomb were easy to follow and the results were surprising -- a honey caramel candy with great flavor and crunch. The honeycomb really does work perfectly as a topping for the panna cotta and the juicy orange slices (I used cara cara) provide additional taste and textural interest. This is an unusual and delicious recipe: I'm giving it a thumbs up. - WinnieAb —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Yogurt Panna Cotta
  • 1 can nonfat sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 gelatin packet
  • 1 container 2% Greek-style plain yogurt (17.6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 4-5 oranges (other citrus fruits can be substituted or used in combo with oranges)
  • Honeycomb
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Yogurt Panna Cotta
  2. Set water to boil. In a small bowl, mix gelatin with 2 Tbsp of cold water.
  3. In a large bowl add condensed milk. Add 1 cup of hot water to condensed milk and whisk until smooth. Add plain yogurt and nonfat milk and whisk again until smooth.
  4. Add ½ cup hot water to gelatin mixture. Stir until smooth. Add to yogurt mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Ladle into small containers, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  6. Prepare oranges. Cut each end off, then place the fruit on one of the cut ends. Cut peel from the top to bottom away from the flesh all around. You can then section the oranges (you can watch Merrill do this in the blood orange/feta/mint video!), or just cut them crosswise. If you have sectioned the oranges, squeeze as much juice as possible from the remaining orange parts and reserve. The panna cotta will be quite sweet so it pairs well with tart fruit, but you can add some honey to the juice if the oranges are not sweet.
  7. To serve: Run a sharp knife around edges of container and invert into small bowls or onto small plates. Arrange orange pieces around custard. Spoon reserved orange juice all around. Right before serving, scatter honeycomb pieces on top.
  1. Honeycomb
  2. Measure baking soda and have a small strainer ready. Get a large cookie sheet ready by either putting a silpat on it or by greasing it up very, very well. Keep a candy thermometer handy.
  3. Mix sugar, honey, salt, and water in a small pot. The pot should be a heavy pot so that it heats evenly. Thin pots make it hard to control the heat at the crucial final steps and caramel can burn easily. Heat until the mixture reaches 290 degrees and take off the heat. (The mixture will have turned caramel brown at this stage.) Immediately add the baking soda sifted through the strainer to avoid any clumping. Stir the molten mixture just until the soda has been incorporated, then dump the whole thing onto the cookie sheet. Don’t touch it - it will burn you badly. Let it cool completely.
  4. Break apart into large sections. You can put sections into a small bowl and break into even smaller sections using a spoon. This can keep in an airtight container and is an addictive snack if it is left lying around.
  5. Note: Ame also included small mochi balls (like the kind you see served with frozen yogurt nowadays), which was another amazing texture. You can add them if you can find them, but this is still wonderful without them.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • monkeymom
  • Janneke Verheij
    Janneke Verheij
  • AmyW

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

5 Reviews

monkeymom April 1, 2010
Thanks for the thumbs up WinnieAb! I'm very glad to hear you liked it, as well as getting some input on how to make things better.
Janneke V. March 30, 2010
I made this last night but the panna cotta did not get thick enough. I used 4 sheets of gelatine (7 gram) somewhere on the internet I found that was the equivalent of 1 packet. Maybe I refrigerated it to short (3 hours) or should I use more gelatine? ( Nothing wrong with the taste though,it's very nice and I'm going to try it again)
monkeymom April 1, 2010
Hello Jenneke! I'm so glad to hear you tried this. I may have erred on the side of 'less set' in the recipe for two reasons: I wanted to replicate a bit of the texture of the set Vietnamese yogurt and I also don't like panna cotta that is set too firm. So feel free to give it another sheet or so to give it more firmness. Give me an update if you will!
monkeymom March 17, 2010
Thanks! Please let me know how it turns out for you.
AmyW March 15, 2010
This looks absolutely lovely and I can't wait to make it. And so simple!