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Apr 01, 2019 2:48pm

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Blog Recipes and Tips From Julia Usher

White Chocolate-Lavender Panna Cotta

A slightly more conservative, but equally tasty, spin on my orange-scented White Chocolate-Basil Panna Cotta!

Yield: About five 1/2- to 3/4-cup servings

Prep Talk: Either fresh or dried lavender buds will work just fine. Expect some trial and error to adjust the lavender strength to your liking.


  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (less than 1 package)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • About 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon fresh or dried lavender buds (Note: I use dried buds from Penzeys Spices. Feel free to adjust the quantity of lavender to taste.)
  • Zest of 1/2 orange, cut into long strips with a channel zester or paring knife
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons finely minced orange zest (less than 1 orange)
  • 4 ounces premium white chocolate, finely chopped and melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, fresh lavender sprigs, and/or fresh orange twists, for garnish (optional)


1 | Prep your serving containers. Clean and dry five 8- to 10-ounce dishes, wine glasses, or other serving containers. (I use rustic Mason or other canning jars, like those pictured right, whenever I serve these desserts alfresco!) Set aside.

2 | Hydrate and melt the gelatin. Pour the cold water into a small bowl that fits a double boiler. Sprinkle the gelatin uniformly over the water and let the mixture sit 5 to 10 minutes until the gelatin is completely hydrated. Do not stir, no matter how tempted. If you do, the gelatin will form lumps that will be very difficult to remove. Set the bowl over simmering water in the double boiler and melt over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, but leave the melted gelatin over the warm water, while you complete the panna cotta.

3 | Infuse the cream and milk with lavender. Combine the cream, milk, lavender buds, and orange zest in a nonreactive (i.e., stainless steel or coated) saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and scald the cream. Remove from the heat and let the lavender and orange zest steep in the liquid about 30 minutes.

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