École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona’s. IMAGES © CLAY MCLACHLAN

Serves: 8
Preparation: 40 minutes
Refrigeration time: overnight


For the ivory panna cotta

  • 2 sheets (4 g) gelatin
  • 6 oz. (175 g) white chocolate, 35 per cent cocoa
  • ¾ cup (200 ml) milk
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) whipping cream
  • ½ tonka bean

For the strawberry coulis

  • 4 2 /3 oz. (130 g) strawberries
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz./25 g) granulated sugar


1A day ahead, prepare the panna cotta. Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water. Chop the chocolate and melt it gently in a bain-marie or in the microwave oven (on “defrost” or at 500 W maximum, stirring from time to time).

2Bring the milk to the boil. Wring the excess water out of the gelatin and dissolve it in the hot milk. Remove from the heat immediately.

3Slowly pour one-third of the hot mixture over the melted chocolate. Using a flexible spatula, briskly mix it in with a small circular movement to create an elastic, shiny “kernel”. Then incorporate another third of the hot liquid, using the same circular movement and, finally, the last third, still mixing with a circular movement. Pour in the cold whipping cream and grate the half tonka bean into the mixture. Process with an immersion blender until the mixture is perfectly smooth and emulsified. Before you pour it into silicone molds or small glasses, wait until it just starts to thicken. This will ensure that the grated tonka bean does not rise directly to the surface. Chill overnight.

4Prepare the coulis. Set aside several whole strawberries for garnish and cut the others into small pieces. Leave them in a mixing bowl. Bring the water and sugar to the boil and pour the syrup over the cut strawberries. Chill overnight.

5The next day, pour the strawberries into a colander over a bowl to catch the juice. It should be perfectly transparent, so don’t crush any strawberries into it. Drizzle the juice over the panna cotta and garnish with strawberry halves, and even raspberries if you wish.


For a refreshing dessert, serve this panna cotta cold with light green tea.

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First printed in our sister publication France Today



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