Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

, from Issue #56. January, 2016
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

Cool, smooth and creamy, these individual panna cotta desserts are topped with luscious blueberries and made largely with yoghurt, so it's almost good for you!

Serves: 6


rice bran oil spray
300 ml cream
½ cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
4 x gelatine leaves (I used Equagold leaves, total equivalent to 8 grams of gelatine powder)
2 cups plain unsweetened yoghurt

¼ cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

6 x ½ cup ramekins


Spray the ramekins lightly with a little of the rice bran oil. Place the cream, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds into a saucepan over a gentle heat. Simmer, stirring for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat. 

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 4–5 minutes or until soft. Remove and squeeze out excess water. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the cream, add the gelatine leaves and whisk until the gelatine has dissolved completely. 

Whisk the yoghurt briskly with a fork to loosen it, then add to the cream mixture and mix until smooth. Pour into the ramekins and place in the fridge to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Topping: Heat the water in a small saucepan until simmering. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to dissolve. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy. If using fresh blueberries, wash them and then put them in a storage container and spoon over the slightly cooled syrup. If the berries are frozen, put them in a sieve over a wide jug and pour over the hot syrup. Repeat this twice until the berries are plump and shiny and the syrup is purply pink. Reserve the syrup.

To serve: Dip each panna cotta mould into hot water for 5 seconds then carefully turn out onto shallow serving plates. You may need to dip them a second time and if necessary use a small knife to release the top of the panna cotta around the rim. Top each panna cotta with the berries and a little of their syrupy juice.