Basil Berry Panna Cotta

Basil Berry Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering cream and sugar together and then blending in gelatin so the texture is transformed into something that resembles a thick sweet custard. This version is a Berry Panna Cotta with sweet basil infused into the creamy mixture. It’s topped with fresh berries in a delicious basil-strawberry syrup. Panna cotta is an almost fool proof dessert  It requires not much more than a quick simmer and a good long chilling in the refrigerator. Once you’ve mastered the concept the cream can be infused with anything.

Basil Berry Panna Cotta 

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Basil Berry Panna Cotta


  • 2 cup sweet basil leaves loosely packed
  • 1 package unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water divided
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup mixed berries


Prepare the panna cotta: Set a few of the basil leaves aside as garnish. In a medium bowl combine gelatin and 2 tablespoons lukewarm water, swirling to dissolve; set aside.

Combine cream, ⅓ cup sugar, and about 1 cup basil leaves in a medium saucepan set over low heat; bring the mixture to a simmer. As soon as tiny bubbles begin to appear on the sides of the pan remove from heat and cover. Set aside to steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream mixture through a fine meshed sieve into the bowl with the dissolved gelatin; stir to combine.

 Divide equally among eight small vessels; cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight to set.

Make the basil-strawberry syrup: In a medium saucepan bring remaining 1 cup water and remaining 1 cup sugar to boil over high heat. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Add remaining basil leaves and chopped strawberries and boil for about 1 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Set aside to steep for for 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bottle. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble: Remove the panna cotta from the refrigerator and uncover. Sprinkle with mixed berries, to taste. Drizzle on some of the basil-strawberry syrup, to taste. Garnish with reserved basil leaves and serve immediately.