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Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta

Michael Gonzales
January 19, 2024
Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta

Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta

Uncloaking the Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta

How can the humble elderberry transform into a sophisticated dessert? Picture it waiting patiently to add depth of flavor to an Italian classic: Panna Cotta. Delicately infused with the dark, sultry taste of elderberries, this dessert becomes a celebration of contrast and harmony; a creamy, velvety delight that captivates the senses. Now, let’s embark on this gastronomic journey exploring the magic of elderberry panna cotta.

Finding the Perfect Balance

Cooking, like music, is about finding harmony. There’s nothing quite like a blend of contrasting flavors that somehow manage to dance together in perfect rhythm. Hold your horses! We’re only just beginning. A marvelous metaphor might be a botanic ballet happening on the tongue, with elderberry playing the intriguing lead. But first, we need to learn the steps.

Understanding Elderberry

Seen as an understated powerhouse, elderberry has an untamed bitterness that, when married with the right ingredients, transforms into a unique, robust flavor. It’s all in the dance – once threw into the mix, it brings a unique richness that even the most seasoned palates appreciate.

The Art of Panna Cotta

To the naked eye, panna cotta may appear as a simple dessert. But, this decadent Italian classic is wrapped in layers of culinary sophistication. Sure, you might say it’s just cream, sugar, and gelatin but let me tell you – it’s the simpleness that makes it a canvas for creative additions. The trick? Achieving a punch of flavor while maintaining the light, creamy consistency we all love.

Tango with Elderberry

Making the panna cotta dance to the tune of elderberries is no piece of cake – or maybe it is! Macerate the elderberries with just the right amount of citrus to cut through the creamy dessert while adding a pleasant tartness that doesn’t dominate but supports. It’s like fitting the right gear on a bike, where elderberry is the gear pushing the panna cotta car forward.

Illuminating Elderberries: Beyond the Taste

Elderberries have been around the block, from traditional medicine to homemade wine, and there’s no denying they pack a strong punch flavor-wise. But the spotlight doesn’t just shine on their taste. Their deep violet color translates into a beautiful presentation, transforming your panna cotta from plain Jane to dazzling diva.

Let the Dessert do the Talking

Drizzle gelatin-mixed elderberry sauce atop the panna cotta to add a dash of drama. As it stipples down the sides, it creates a visual spectacle that’s hard to ignore – sights that evoke emotions mirroring bittersweet departures and promising arrivals.

Final Flourish: The Plating

With your velvety elderberry panna cotta ready, it’s time for the final act: the plating. Embellish it with a sprig of mint or a few fresh berries – a neat trick to complement and uplift the elderberry essence.

Creative Contrasts

An elegant way to decorate the plate is by adding a garnish that contrasts or brings out the unique taste of elderberry. Go ahead and throw on some zesty lemon zest. Or a few crumbles of shortbread as a tribute to the classic Italian roots of panna cotta.

Step by Step Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta Recipe

Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta is an elegant and delicious dessert that combines the unique flavor of elderberries with the creamy texture of panna cotta. Here’s a step-by-step recipe:


For the Panna Cotta:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons gelatin powder
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

For the Elderberry Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh elderberries (or 1/2 cup dried elderberries, rehydrated)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of half a lemon


  1. Prepare the Gelatin: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to bloom.
  2. Heat the Cream and Milk: In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add the Gelatin: Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Add the bloomed gelatin and vanilla extract to the saucepan. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Pour into Molds: Divide the mixture among your desired molds or ramekins. Leave a little space at the top if you’re adding the elderberry layer.
  5. Chill the Panna Cotta: Place the molds in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, or until set.
  6. Make the Elderberry Sauce: While the panna cotta is chilling, make the elderberry sauce. In a saucepan, combine the elderberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the berries burst and the sauce thickens slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, then strain the sauce to remove the elderberry skins and seeds.
  7. Cool the Sauce: Let the elderberry sauce cool to room temperature. Once cooled, it can be spooned over the set panna cotta.
  8. Serve: To serve, either invert the panna cotta onto a plate or serve it in its container, topped with the elderberry sauce.
  9. Enjoy: Your Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta is ready to be savored!


  • Gelatin Alternative: If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can use agar-agar instead of gelatin.
  • Elderberry Safety: Ensure the elderberries are safe for consumption and properly prepared.
  • Serving Suggestion: Garnish with fresh berries or mint leaves for an added touch of elegance.

Enjoy your homemade Velvety Elderberry Panna Cotta, a luxurious and flavorful dessert that’s sure to impress!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is elderberry panna cotta difficult to make?

Not at all! Despite its elegant presentation, it’s surprisingly simple once you understand the role of each ingredient.

2. Can I use fresh elderberries instead of dried ones?

Absolutely! Fresh elderberries work perfectly and might even give a more vibrant flavor and color.

3. What does elderberry taste like?

Elderberries have a unique flavor profile. They’re quite tart, mildly sweet, and have a subtle earthy undertone.

4. Can I prepare elderberry panna cotta ahead of time?

Yes, panna cotta is an ideal make-ahead dessert. You can make it a day in advance and it will still taste great.

5. What can I use if I don’t have elderberries?

If you can’t find elderberries, you can experiment with blackberries, blueberries, or even cherries. Remember, it’s all about the balance and harmony of flavors.


  • Michael Gonzales

    Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gonzales-07bb4b31/ [email protected] Gonzales Michael


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