Red Berry Panna Cotta with Vanilla Bean & Tonka Bean Madelines


Just realized today that I haven’t posted for almost 10 months. (Yikes!) Since my last post, I have moved to a different province, graduated my Masters, became a registered Occupational Therapist, and am now working as a Mental Health Therapist for Children and Teens (Oh! And started using Instagram! Follow me at ) . So that’s my excuse.

My post today is for a Red Berry Panna Cotta served with delicious, buttery, vanilla bean and tonka bean madelines. The red berry coulis adds a bright zing to this dessert classic; and the chilled dessert is wonderful with warm, fresh-out-the-oven madelines. Nothing like a good heat contrast to class up your final course of the meal.  For those uninitiated to tonka beans, they add a deep, sexy perfume to your madelines (Think: dried hay with floral tones). It is illegal in the States to import tonka beans because of the “high” level of Coumarin in the beans. Coumarin is a blood-thinning agent that is also found in cinnamon , licorice, and lavender. Don’t worry though, it is highly unlikely for you to get sick (you need to consume about 30 tonka beans – or 1 full gram of Coumarin – at one go before you reach toxicity)… So sit back, relax, and enjoy those delicious, delicious tonka beans.

This recipe is a dinner party go-to, since everything can be prepared a day in advance. Just remember to gently warm up those madelines before serving and voila! Dessert is served in a matter of minutes!

Special thanks to Lara Matiisen at Next to Wild Photography for the food photoshoot! If you like these food shots, just wait till you see her family and pet photos. Here’s a link:

Here’s another nommynoms recipe:

Red Berry Panna Cotta

Makes about 6 medium sized ramekins


  1. 2 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  2. 1/4 Cup full-fat milk + 1/2 Cup full-fat milk
  3. 1 1/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  4. 1/4 Cup Sugar
  5. Red Berry Coulis (recipe below)
  6. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries for garnish

    The Fun Part:

    1. Bloom gelatin by sprinkling gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl, let stand for 3-5 mins till soften.

    2. Combine remaining milk, whipping cream and sugar in large sauce pan. Heat and stir on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, and then the gelatin mixture. Mix well. Strain into liquid measure. Pour into 4 lightly greased ¾ cup moulds. Cover. Chill for 5 hours or overnight till set. While Panna Cotta is setting, prepare the Red Berry Coulis.

    3. To unmold, prepare a basin of hot water, dip the ramekins into the water, submerging the bottom and sides without letting water seep into the panna cotta. Then turn over on a plate. (This requires patience and practice! Time spent in the hot water depends on how quickly your ramekin conducts heat to melt the outer portions of the panna cotta). OR, serve in the ramekin.

    4. To Garnish: Top with a generous helping of the Red Berry Coulis, and garnish with berries. Serve with warm madelines.


    Red Berry Coulis


    • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries
    • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
    • 1/3 Cup Sugar
    • 1 tsp Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla (or high quality vanilla)
    • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest


    The Fun Part:

  7. Wash and hull berries. Cut strawberries in half.
  8. Reserve half of the strawberries, and place the remaining berries, sugar, vanilla and lemon rind in a saucepan and set over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Juice will begin to form as the berries cook down. Cook for 10 minutes and puree the mixture with a blender (much easier with an immersion blender if you have one, be careful when blending, the sauce is HOT!). Return pureed sauce into sauce pan, add the remaining half of the strawberries and cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
  9. Set aside and cool in the fridge.


Vanilla Bean / Tonka Bean Madelines

Yields 24 Madelines


  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Madagascar bourbon vanilla (or high quality vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 stick (10 Tbsp) of salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper blend (I use one with pink and black peppercorns, but regular black pepper will do as well)
  • Tonka Bean Version: Add 1 and a half of a medium sized tonka bean (grated) along with the vanilla

The Fun Part:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter madeline pans liberally and flour it.
  2. Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl until blended and add vanilla, lemon peel, and pepper. Divide flour into 4 portions and beat in flour, add next portion of flour after the first portion of flour has just blended.
  3. Add cooled melted butter in a steady stream while beating.
  4. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of batter into floured and buttered madeline pans. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden brown. Once out the oven, allow madelines to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from pan. If there is still batter left, repeat the buttering and flouring of the pans and bake following the same process.
  5. Serve with Red Berry Panna Cotta





2 thoughts on “Red Berry Panna Cotta with Vanilla Bean & Tonka Bean Madelines

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