Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate

Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate

“You realize she’s so made that it’s as if at any moment, at her own whim, her body could cease to live, could just thin out around her and disappear from sight, and that it’s in this threat that she sleeps, exposes herself to your view. That it’s in the risk she runs, with the sea so close and empty and black still, that she sleeps.” – Marguerite Duras, an excerpt from ‘The Malady of Death’.

Here. The perfumed hour, the still one. Salacious musk and orange-blossom scent. Irreverence and nightshade. Golden light flickering through the terror in the ceiling. Sills, full of flowers. Light, sensual in every creeping movement. Toying, tempting. Devouring. The savage, onset of Winter, doing similar to the flesh of I. Violencing. There’s bloodlust in these eyes and the thirst of the sea in this head. All thoughts exist only to be drowned. I, am willing to become stifled by my own hand. Come, into my mind. And drown with me. I promise you it will be tragic. And how the cold, eats. Winter filling my soul with its shivered bite. Frostbitten tongue, a reminder of this fragmented love. A love rooted in a desire for escapism, a pull towards romanticism and modern neurosis. Winter. I, could sleep inside of you.

It’s funny how I fall so easily. In love, out of love. Just as fast as the return of season. The strength of the weather, dictating these moods. Coolness, starkness, happiness. Warmth, passion, rage. I live for each fleeting temporal just as intensely as the other. Though, I only desire strength. A smouldering strength. Strength of man. Strength of love. Strength of hate. Strength of destruction. I give myself to it fully. Don’t ever let me dilute me.

Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White ChocolateFennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White ChocolateFennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White ChocolateFennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate

And then there’s this Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate. The world of panna cotta, so seemingly new. It’s taken me too long to get around to creating one. And now, I’m dreaming in panna cotta flavour combinations more than I care to admit. The coolness, the sticky-sweet, the honeyed gelatinous taste on tongue. I love it.

Fennel pollen, a new revelation. It has this slight-yet-present aniseed, savoury, note that I just adore. Coupled with all things intensely sweet? It’s perfect. You could infuse the panna cotta with whatever you have on hand. Play around with the herbaceous notes. Use whatever bloom is in season. Chamomile, lavender. Spring. Rose, violet. Summer. Lemon-verbena, fennel pollen. Winter. You get the gist. There’s fragrant orange-blossom honey in the panna cotta too. Fleur d’Oranger reminding me of my youth. And the dulcet velvety-tones of caramelised white chocolate. It’s a forever kind of ingredient. I used Valrhona’s 32% Blond Dulcey Feves. They add a buttery, toasted, goodness like no-other. You could use regular white chocolate. It’ll still be sweet enough to sate. But, if you can, source the good stuff. It makes this Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate just that little bit better. Either way, it’s all delicious.

Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White ChocolateFennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White ChocolateFennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate

FENNEL POLLEN PANNA COTTA WITH HONEY AND CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE

500 ml heavy cream (cold), 2 tsp powdered gelatin, 250 ml buttermilk, 100 g orange-blossom honey, seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod, 1- 1/2 tsp fennel pollen (depending on taste preference), 1/4 tsp salt, 100 g Valrhona 32% Blond Dulcey Feves (or white chocolate), finely chopped

Pour half the cream into a small bowl. Sprinkle over the gelatin and give the mixture a gentle stir. Set it aside to bloom, about 5 minutes.

Place the remaining heavy cream, buttermilk, orange-blossom honey, vanilla, fennel pollen and salt into a large heavy saucepan. Pour in the bloomed gelatin and cream mixture. Set the heat to medium-low. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined. 

Increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is just about to reach a light rolling boil. Small bubbles should consistently be starting to surface around the edges of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the white chocolate until smooth. Set the mixture aside to steep, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly brush six to eight moulds or ramekins with a little bit of neutral oil. Set them aside on a baking tray.

Once the mixture has infused and cooled slightly, place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain the mixture, making sure to discard of any lumps or large pieces of fennel pollen. 

Ladle the mixture into your prepared moulds or ramekins. Then, place them in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about eight hours, or preferably overnight. 

When you’re ready to serve, un-mould the panna cotta’s. Place enough hot water into a shallow baking dish so that it reaches half-way up the sides of the moulds or ramekins. Set a panna cotta in the hot water for about 15-20 seconds then immediately invert it out and onto a serving plate. Re-peat with the remaining panna cotta’s and refresh the water as needed. Adorn the panna cotta’s with a sprinkle of bee pollen, a strip of candied lemon rind (I like to use Ottolenghi’s candied lemon recipe here) and a little bit of honeycomb, if desired.

Fennel Pollen Panna Cotta with Honey and Caramelised White Chocolate

35 Comments

  • Reply Todd Wagner | HonestlyYUM May 23, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I’ll definitely be dreaming of this absolutely stunning panna cotta all week, Thalia. Simply perfect!!

  • Reply Jodi May 21, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since I saw it on instagram. It’s absolutely beautiful x

  • Reply Shikha @ Shikha la mode May 20, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I love reading your writing—you make desserts sound so poetic, as they rightfully should be thought of; it’s inspiring 🙂 I’ve been wanting to get back into plated desserts and this is a great recipe for the start of summer.

  • Reply Joey May 19, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Your writing is just.. wow. Utterly in love with this.

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker May 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Goodness, I’m SO into this panna cotta! Between the white chocolate and honey, it’s perfection!

  • Reply Becky Winkler May 19, 2017 at 2:25 am

    This is just gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to try caramelized white chocolate for a while and now I really have to.

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet May 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Thalia!!! I am obsessed with panna cotta, and yours has to be the most beautiful and delicious sounding version I have ever seen.

    • Reply thalia May 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

      thank you Justin!

  • Reply Jenny May 18, 2017 at 12:59 am

    I love panna cotta for days when you need a light dessert. This is a beautiful recipe and your writing is brilliant!

    • Reply thalia May 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

      thank you so much Jenny X

  • Reply Emily May 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    So gorgeous and elegant, Thalia. Panna cotta is one of those desserts that I love to order, but have never gotten around to making it myself. Your version here is whimsical and yet so sophisticated. Love.

    • Reply thalia May 19, 2017 at 4:56 am

      thank you Emily, and yes, I was totally the same! Xx

  • Reply Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen May 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Your writing AND your recipes always amaze me Thalia! You are so incredibly talented. What fabulous flavors in this panna cotta. So delicate and delicious.

    • Reply thalia May 19, 2017 at 4:56 am

      thank you Mary Ann! Xx

  • Reply Bek | The Floured Kitchen May 17, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Seriously you’re just amazing. These are gorgeous! Fennel pollen sounds like it’s a perfect match for panna cotta <3

    • Reply thalia May 19, 2017 at 4:56 am

      thank you Bek, and it so is! counterbalances all the sweetness Xx

  • Reply Phyllis May 16, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    So gorgeous!!! These photos are just stunning I wish I could make something that delicate looking.

    xo
    Phyllis
    http://desgeulasse.com/

    • Reply Donna Mahomet May 17, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Looks fragile and sweet. Yummy !

  • Reply Rachael @ Rachael's Foodie Life May 16, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Just stunning. I adore pannacotta and I must make these. I flavour combination is intriguing

  • Reply Haley | Brewing Happiness May 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen a more beautiful panna cotta. I’M OBSESSED WITH YOU. xoxo

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      thank you beautiful!!! Xx

  • Reply Elizabeth May 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    The delicate beauty (and delicate flavors) of your panna cotta is stunning. Even as my world is sunny and summertime verdant, I’m jealous of your just before winter moment. Those first frosty days are always my favorites.

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      the first moments of a new season are my favourite too. thank you! Xx

  • Reply betty May 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    these photos are stunning – Thalia, this might be one of my favorite sets by you, ever – I love how subtle and monochrome it is, highlighting the beautiful fennel pollen, which actually I’ve never had before. And now I must go get my hands on some.

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      thank you gorgeous betty! and yes, you must.. it has the most unique flavour Xx

  • Reply Ruby & Cake May 16, 2017 at 2:57 am

    fennel with caramelised white chocolate is such an interesting combination. Beautiful images as ever

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      thank you so much!

  • Reply Fatimah May 16, 2017 at 12:19 am

    ahh these are so lovely! i have yet to try panna cotta but you’ve once again tempted me with your precise words, flavor choices and adoring presentation xo

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      thank you fatimah! Xx

  • Reply Rebecca@figsandpigs May 15, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    What an amazing flavour combination and I can’t believe how beautiful these panacotta are just stunning.

  • Reply bella May 15, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    i love everything about these & I cannot wait to make them! gorgeous writing & images per usual <3

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      thank you so much bella Xx

  • Reply Aimee May 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    So beautiful x

    • Reply thalia May 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      thank you aimee Xx

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