Vanilla Bean Almond Panna Cotta with Fresh Cherries & Candied Toasted Almonds ~ #BakeTogether

by Kate on August 20, 2012

Post image for Vanilla Bean Almond Panna Cotta with Fresh Cherries & Candied Toasted Almonds ~ #BakeTogether

This month for BakeTogether, Abby gave us all a “no bake” assignment which was a wonderful blessing considering the horrendously hot, humid weather we’ve been having here in New Jersey lately. I’ll take any excuse to keep my oven off these days. Abby felt the same way when she decided we would all make panna cotta this month. I was thrilled at the challenge since Carrie and I had just been discussing making the very same thing recently. Now was my opportunity and I was excited since this would be my first time making panna cotta.

The panna cotta were a breeze to make and so elegant when served as if they took much more effort on my part than they really did. The delicate silken custard was flecked with vanilla bean and a dash of almond extract. Next I tossed ripe sweet cherries with a splash of Amaretto. I topped it off with a bit of crunch from candied toasted almonds.

Not only was panna cotta easy to make, it was even easier to eat. The combination of the smooth custard, the sweet cherries and the warm, nutty flavor of the toasted almonds was pure bliss. When served after dinner my father-in-law couldn’t help but ask for seconds and I happily served up more. I couldn’t blame him at all. Panna cotta is the perfect dessert to end any meal.

Would you like to join in on the BakeTogether fun? BakeTogether is a laid back virtual community of folks who share a common love of baking and an interest in testing our creativity. You can have little or no baking experience or you can be an experienced baker, all are welcome so join us!



One Year Ago: Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Vanilla Almond Panna Cotta with Fresh Cherries & Candied Toasted Almonds

30 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings

Vanilla Almond Panna Cotta with Fresh Cherries & Candied Toasted Almonds

Silky smooth custard topped with fresh cherries and candied toasted almonds.


    For The Panna Cotta
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of table salt
  • For The Cherries
  • 1 pound fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • For The Almonds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


    To Make The Panna Cotta:
  1. Have ready 6 small dessert glasses or bowls and make room in the refrigerator.
  2. Put the water in a small, heatproof ramekin and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Set aside to soften.
  3. Once the gelatin has absorbed the water and is plump, microwave briefly until it is completely melted, about 1 minute.
  4. Put the melted gelatin, ricotta, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  5. Pour into the prepared glasses or bowls, dividing the mixture evenly. Cover the tops with plastic and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.
  6. To Make The Cherries:
  7. Place the cherries, sugar and Amaretto in a medium bowl and stir gently. Let stand until juices release and the sugar dissolves, about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  8. To Make The Almonds:
  9. Stir the almonds and brown sugar constantly in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until the nuts are toasted and the sugar coats the nuts, about 3-5 minutes.
  10. Spread the candied almonds onto a plate and cool, breaking up as it cools.
  11. To Serve:
  12. Top each panna cotta with a spoonful of cherries and some of the accumulated juices. Sprinkle with candied almonds.
  13. Enjoy!


30 minutes active time total plus panna cotta chill time. Adapted from Abby Dodge

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie August 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

Bet it was the perfect dessert for that hot and humid New Jersey weather. It looks so refreshing!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Thanks Stephanie! I’m glad you like it.


Jessica@AKitchenAddiction August 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

This looks like a wonderful summer dessert! Light and refreshing!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Thanks Jessica! It really was.


Maranda August 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Oh my. This panna cotta looks amazing!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Thanks so much Maranda!


Jamie August 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

Oh do I still have time to BakeTogether? I have been meaning to make panna cotta with fruit and cherries are my absolute favorite! Yours looks spectacular!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm

You absolutely DO have time to BakeTogether! August still has a few good days left in her 😉 And thank you so much for your kind comment about my panna cotta 🙂


Wendy Read August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

I love your take on the Panna Cotta, fresh cherries with DiSaronno…yes! The candied almonds take it up another notch–I could just eat those….


Kate September 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I loved the candied almonds all by themselves. So good! When paired with the panna cotta and cherries, they were such a pleasant toasty crunch.


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