Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

So we've declared our love for Penzeys Spices before, but the huge plus about this place is that in addition of having fantastic spices, if you're on their catalog mailing list, you also receve a coupon for a free spice with each catalog.

The last coupon we received that was attached to the spring catalog was for $5 off a $10 purchase. I decided this was an opprtunity buy some vanilla beans for experimentation.

I have never used vanilla beans before and admittedly had been stockpiling recipes and ideas for this moment.

The first thing I made with my new treasure was vanilla bean meringues, which didn't quite turn out, but still tasted awesome. The second recipe I made was Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis.

I just so happen to have a cookbook from the library of the "Best International Recipes" that I used as a recipe source, but this recipe is very similar to the one I used.

While Panna Cotta takes some time and care to put together, it is worth the effort. The end result is creamy, almost pudding like, but not quite. And it serves as a great back drop to a tangy, sweet raspberry coulis.

The coulis is simple enough, and it's definitely worth the effort. While the creaminess of the Panna Cotta was lovely, this coulis made this dessert. And the nice thing about it is that you can swap out the berries for any kind of berry, whether it be strawberry or a mix of berries.

I have a feeling we'll be experimenting a lot with this recipe this summer and for many summers thanks to the abundance of fresh berries.


MWGirl said...

I think you should bring the leftovers to our house. Mmmm. Looks great!

Brent said...

Wow! That looks amazing. Can not wait to try it! About 1 year ago I found another great source for vanilla beans... the company is called Beanilla. They specialize in gourmet vanilla products and have 8 (yes 8!) different types of whole vanilla beans. They are so much better quality than what I used to buy at the store, and some are only $1.5 each. You can check them out online at

Thanks again!

Lo said...

You can't beat the flavor of a vanilla bean... it's so much better than vanilla extract! And I just LOVE all those little speckles :)

We patronize Penzey's for some of our spices, but also love The Spice House. If you're a vanilla fan like me, you might want to know about the vanilla powder (not vanilla sugar) they carry. Great for sprinkling on toast & adding to the dry ingredients in recipes.

Robin Sue said...

I have never made panna cotta, I think I have to start. This looks heavenly. I could marry Penzeys if that was legal and my hubby would let me. They have the best spice blends on earth!