Make Ahead

Golden Milk Panna Cotta

June 15, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

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 interesting honeys. Now, it’s totally time for turmeric! Golden milk—turmeric and honey blended into hot milk (dairy or otherwise) with a little black pepper—translates effortlessly into this Western dessert. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 envelope (7 grams) gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 3 cups cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon (I use fine sea salt)
  • 1/16 teaspoon finely ground black pepper (3-4 grinds from a pepper mill set on the finest setting)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) honey (orange blossom, clover or wildflower rather than a strong or dark honey or woody flavored honey)
  • A cinnamon stick, optional for grating
  • A whole (or piece of) nutmeg, option for grating
  • 8 pretty dessert glasses or martini glasses (we are not unmolding this panna cotta)
  1. Pour the milk into small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface. Let the gelatin soften (without stirring) for at least 5 minutes or until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, put the turmeric into a medium saucepan and stir in a tablespoon of the cream to form a smooth paste. Stir in the remaining cream, salt, pepper, and honey. Stir over medium heat until the honey is dissolved and the mixture is steaming hot—but don’t let it simmer.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the milk and gelatin and stir well to dissolve the gelatin. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set the bowl into a large bowl of ice and water. Let the mixture cool in the ice bath, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl thoroughly (with a rubber or silicon spatula) from time to time to equalize the temperature and prevent the mix from setting against the cold surface of the bowl. When the mixture has thickened (at about 50° F, but not set, remove the bowl from the ice water. Wipe the bottom of the bowl to avoid dripping water, and pour the mixture into the glasses, dividing it equally. Cover and refrigerate the panna cotta for several hours and as long at 2 days before serving. It will be quite wobbly, just set enough to be thick and luxurious on the tongue.
  4. Use a micro plane grater to grate a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg over each serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Colette
  • Annada Rathi
    Annada Rathi
  • Suzette
  • Cassandra Brecht
    Cassandra Brecht
  • Alice Medrich
    Alice Medrich
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, 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!).

11 Reviews

Colette January 14, 2018
I haven’t tried this recipe but given the ingredients I can’t understand what creates the green hue. Baffled.
mpm6228 June 26, 2017
At a local restaurant I had a turmeric panna cotta that also had crystallized ginger and lightly toasted coconut shards--coconut was on top and the ginger pieces mixed in, but I think they'd be better cut very finely and sprinkled on top with the coconut. The one I had also seemed a bit too "loose" so I am looking forward to trying this!
Lost_in_NYC June 20, 2017
The amount of turmeric seems a high given its strong taste especially since its being only partially cooked out with the other mellower flavors.
Alice M. June 21, 2017
I appreciate your concern...but having tested it several times (I don't just guess) with different amounts of turmeric , I think the balance is quite good!
Andrea W. June 22, 2017
If it was just the 1 cup of milk, I'd agree with you that the amount of turmeric was disproportionate, but because there's also 3 cups of cream in the recipe then I think the amount sounds reasonable.
NT June 29, 2017
I just tried this recipe and I agree that the turmeric was too strong. I haven't any other experience with golden milk, but in this recipe I found the turmeric overbearing and positively foul. Maybe with less turmeric the panna cotta would have been the light refreshing dish I expected.
Annada R. June 19, 2017
Hello Alice, can I use agar agar instead of gelatin? Thank you!
Alice M. June 21, 2017
Texture will be different...but sure.
tmsky June 18, 2017
many thanks
Suzette June 17, 2017
This looks so delish, and the tumeric add has me beyond curious now. How unusual and delighful. Thanks Alice!
Cassandra B. June 15, 2017
What a clever use of these flavors! Your creativity is always an inspiration!