Lavender Chai Panna Cotta

by jenna on August 4, 2010

I really, really love my job. It might not be for everyone, but I can’t even imagine a better way to spend an afternoon than making Lavender Chai Panna Cotta. Really, I just can’t.

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A few weeks ago, Tazo Tea contacted me to see if I would be interested in participating in their blogger “Tazo Cook-Off”. Basically, I would be sent a different “secret ingredient” every week for three weeks and then formulate a recipe using that ingredient as well as a specific kind of Tazo tea.
Tazo is not paying me to do this….I just thought it sounded like a lot of fun!
So, recipe number one: Lavender Chai Panna Cotta. I think panna cottas are seriously underrated in the dessert world. They always seem to take the back burner to their creme brulee cousin, and for no good reason! Panna cottas are far simpler to make than creme brulee and much lighter as well. And while they don’t involve using a blow torch, they do have pretty much the same creamy texture.
You’ll need:
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First, combine a half cup milk with a cup of cream in a medium sized pot.
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Add one tablespoon of culinary grade lavender (make sure it’s culinary grade though—you don’t want stuff that’s been sprayed with icky pesticides!),
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the contents of one chai teabag
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and two tablespoons sugar. Stir GENTLY but try to keep the sugar on the bottom of the pot. This prevents the milk from scalding.
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Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium/low.
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Right when little bubbles appear around the sides, give it a stir and take it off the heat. By this time the sugar should have dissolved. Now, add a half tsp of vanilla paste or a full tsp of vanilla extract.
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I HIGHLY recommend vanilla paste. It makes all the difference in the world in final products. One teaspoon of vanilla paste equals one full vanilla bean, so you know it’s legit.
After you have stirred in the vanilla, add a teaspoon and a half of powdered gelatine.
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And stir again. Now here’s the hardest part of the entire recipe.
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You must strain! Technically you should use either cheesecloth or a chinois, but make due with what you have. A few lavender buds won’t kill ya.
Pour the mixture into panna cotta molds, or in this case, little tea cups. I thought tea cups would be cute considering tea is a main ingredient!
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Stick the panna cottas in the fridge and let chill for a few hours, or preferably overnight. This is a great make-ahead recipe!
Lavender Chai Panna Cottas
Serves 2-4

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup reduced fat milk or whole milk (do NOT use skim milk. They won’t turn out right!)
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 T culinary grade lavender
1 Tazo Chai teabag, opened
1.5 tsps powdered gelatine
Heat the cream, milk, sugar, lavender and tea in a medium sized pot over low heat. Right when little bubbles start to form around the sides of the pot, take it off the heat and add the gelatine and vanilla. Stir well and strain through a chinois or small holed strainer.
Carefully pour mixture into tiny bowls, tea cups or panna cotta molds and let chill in the fridge for about four hours or overnight.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Abbey August 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Where did you find the vanilla paste? Looks divine.

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jenna August 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I think I got that at Whole Foods but have seen it at regular grocery stores. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it!

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Becky August 5, 2010 at 3:24 am

Do you prefer the paste over buying the whole vanilla pods and scraping out the seeds for some reason (richer flavor, something else?), or is it for convenience? For some weird reason, I love slicing open the pods and scraping out the beans. I find that “preparation” process really enjoyable.

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Nora@LifeLifeEatRight August 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I think I need to find a job like this….I aspire to have a job like this :) beautiful! I love lavender in dishes. Unexpected but delicious!

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Sarah R August 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

So, do you get a life time supply of tea if you win? hehe :)

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Evan Thomas August 4, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I LOVE vanilla paste. I use it in my buttercreams–SO GOOD.

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Jennie August 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Where do I find culinary grade lavender?

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Kim August 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm

You can find it in the bulk spice section at stores like Whole Foods and at spice shops some cooking stores may have it too.

Check out. SavorySpiceShop dot com they sell Lavender extract. There is a store near me and they are wonderful!

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Maissa August 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I feel like you have a somewhat creepy insight into my culinary dreams and desires. First your wild-mushroom crusted steak and kale salad. Next the tomato-cream sauce linguine with shrimp, finally, this.

Panna Cotta is my absolute favorite dessert. I just adore the texture, the creamy, lightly sweet taste. If I see any mention of panna cotta on a menu, I’m all over it. Seriously, they might as well not bring me a main course, cause all I care about is the dessert at that point.

Also, I made a buttermilk-vanilla bean panna cotta once with a rhubarb compote that was amazing. The buttermilk twinge was a fantastic addition. I highly recommend it.

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Estela @ Weekly Bite August 4, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Looks delicious!!! Sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon :)

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

What a fun contest! I love the idea of using lavender!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

What a wonderful dish indeed! Thankyou so much for sharing this recipe – and all the helpful tips!

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Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Wow. That sounds delicious. For some reason anything that you eat and has lavender in it sounds Italian to me, probably because when I was in Italy everyone was eating lavender gelato like it was going out of style. LOVE it!

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Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ August 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Wow fancy. That looks so good and would be nice served to guests.

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eatmovelove August 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I like this new addition to your blog with the recipes. It seems to be following and back to your roots of culinary school/cooking,etc.
And I think it’s great these companies are contacting you wth these amazing opportunities.
Thanks for sharing.

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haya August 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

i guess this is what hangry pants is up to as well, eh

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Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Genius!! I love this challenge. I need to start cooking with tea more often. I love anything chai flavored. Oooh, the possibilities are endless!

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Rhew (Greek Feaster) August 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Whoa. whoa. whoa. I love lavender anything, but this is just… just… too much! It’s perfect!

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Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes August 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Holy freaking cow. Must try this. I first tried lavender in food in lavender cupcakes and was hooked. Thanks for the recipe!
Maria

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theemptynutjar August 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

You are truly unique among the food bloggers. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the busy-ness and buzz of blogs ( I love them all, but I get dizzy with them :) ).
Your blog has a “calming” effect for some reason.
I go to the other blogs for a whirlwind, and can come here for a bit of a breather, ha.

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Jennie August 4, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I know what you mean and I feel the same way. :)

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Lauren August 5, 2010 at 3:54 am

I agree! It has a really nice feel.

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Erin August 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

This is absolutely the cutest thing! Love the presentation with some blueberries on the side, too.

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Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

This sounds beyond amazing. SO creative!!

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Alyssa August 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Looks so delicious! I’ve been dying to try panna cotta :-)

~Alyssa

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Courtney (Delightful Devours) August 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Fantastic recipe! I can’t wait to try this

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Krystina August 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Awesome flavor combo.

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Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I can almost taste your dessert:) Looks heavenly! Thanks for sharing your tips.

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Kerri Beth August 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Such a photogenic recipe. Love the idea of lavendar dessert.

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Sarah for Real August 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Wow! That’s all I’ve got… Wow! I’m speechless!

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Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm

This is a hard-core recipe! You make serious culinary feats seem so accessible, I really can’t wait until you get your own Food Netork show. :) Looks like a beautiful and flavorful dessert.

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Mary August 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm

What kind of pots do you use? Are they Le Creuset? Odd question, but I am contemplating investing and was wondering if they were worth it…

Also, I will take your job. You can teach my 4th graders, and I will cook! (Though I will not be nearly as talented as you are, but still…)

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Kim August 4, 2010 at 11:07 pm

My husband bought me a set of Le Creuset cookware for my birthday 5 years ago and I LOVE them. They hold up well, I know some people who have had them for 20+ years. They clean up nicely and I love being able to sear something on the stove and then pop the pan in the oven.
Definitely worth the investment!

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Lynna August 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

This recipe sounds amazing, Jenna. I love using tea in recipes (one time I made earl grey tea cupcakes and they were delicious!) and I like your addition of lavender. Maybe it’s time I give panna cotta another chance.

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Rachael August 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

This is amazing. I’m going through a pretty major lavender phase right now. I’ve blogged about lavender honey goat cheese, lavender-infused nicoise salads and lavender almond cookies. This is one dessert that fits in perfectly. Thank you!

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Camille August 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Mmm, sounds delicious! Can’t wait to see what else you create!

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Gree August 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm

This looks awesome! I admit making pannacotta intimidates me a bit but I love chai and lavender, what a great combo!

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Dorry August 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Yum – I’m going to dream about this tonight!

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Cara August 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

That’s so much fun!
Always fun to have an excuse to create a new recipe.
Your little panacottas looks perfect and the recipe is really easy to follow..good job.

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Lauren August 5, 2010 at 4:49 am

This looks delicious! I had panna cotta for the first time while on vacation recently, and I could not get over how delicious it was. I can’t believe I went so long without it in my life.

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Marina August 5, 2010 at 5:01 am

I adore panna cotta! I’m not sure I would like it with the lavander, but I would definitely like to try it!

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 5, 2010 at 5:30 am

That sounds delicious and looks absolutely *beautiful.* Seriously. That should totally be available in a restaurant. I think serving it in a tea cup makes the entire presentation. Love it! :D

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OK Chick August 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

I’m pretty sure you do have a great job. Mine isn’t this great.
PS- I’m drinking a Tazo Chai right now. I mean, right now I’m drinking one. It’s from Starbucks.

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Heather August 5, 2010 at 5:46 am

i need to find vanilla bean paste…i can only imagine how incredible the flavor is with it! and this sounds amazing, i love the peppery flavor of chai!

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Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly August 5, 2010 at 5:52 am

Looks really good! I have never made a panna cotta before. Nice!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman August 5, 2010 at 6:02 am

This is brilliant. I’m so excited for this contest because I’m kind of obsessed with tea. And where did you get that particular bottle of lavender? I love the simple bottle and writing!

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jenna August 5, 2010 at 6:10 am

this looks great, jenna. I’ve never cooked/baked with lavender…could you really taste it? where did you buy it?

fun recipe.

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Kristy August 5, 2010 at 6:18 am

I have not been THIS impressed in a while. Kudos! Kudos! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

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Cati August 5, 2010 at 6:31 am

Cool, Jenna–thanks! I didn’t realize Panna Cotta was so easy to make. This is definitely going on my “To Cook” list. Do all Panna Cotta recipes call for gelatin, or is there a way to make it without? Just curious!

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Veronique August 5, 2010 at 6:53 am

I must say, I am jealous of your job :p
This panna cotta looks delish, as I love chai tea and vanilla and lavender! Lukcy :P
I will try this recipe out asap as it is making me drool.

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Megan (Braise The Roof) August 5, 2010 at 6:53 am

This may be the cutest dessert I’ve seen in a lonnng time! :)

You are so creative, Jenna. I never think about making panna cotta, but it’s so good and easy- I’m going to need to make some soon!

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Lisa @ Endeavorous August 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

Love your blog! And LOVE panna cotta! I had it for the first time in Rome with strawberries and since then the bf and I have been obsessed. I’ll have to try this one!

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AllieNic (Frisky Lemon) August 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

That lavender is gorgeous! I’ve never even heard of panna cotta, but it’s something I’ll definitely look into…

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

I love that you went to culinary school and therefore are able to create these AMAZING recipes!!! This sounds and looks delicious. I have always wanted to make panna cotta and this may be the recipe to bring me to the kitchen!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

I’ve never tried panna cotta before but this recipe looks wonderful! It looks so cute in the tea cup. :D

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nickee August 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

OMG yum! :) Sounds like an amazing recipe .. thanks for sharing :)

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Sami August 5, 2010 at 9:34 am

holy yum. that is all i have to say. :)

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing August 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

This is gorgeous! I adore the scent of lavender. Happy to see you putting your culinary talents to good use over the course of recent posts :).

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kristina @goodnweird August 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

thanks for this recipe. looks so amazing. penna cotta is actually on my list to cook saturday :)

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Kaitlin With Honey August 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

That looks amazing. Do you think it would work with honey in it (I’m allergic to cane sugar), or is the sugar too key of an ingredient?

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Jae August 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Comfort food at its finest

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Laura August 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I had a dream about this recipe last night. That’s not weird, right?

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Edith August 21, 2010 at 8:14 am

Your recipes are so fun!

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Dominique May 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Jenna–this recipe is fabulous! I love, love, love lavender and made this a couple of days ago and it was incredible. I love the combo of chai and lavender–very unique. I made some for the BF and he also loved the combo. Thanks for a great recipe.

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Sam April 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Can’t wait to try this. :)
(Oh, but it’s ‘make do’, not ‘make due’)

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Chelbie August 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I just fell in love with your blog only 3 minutes in because of this very recipe. You and this panna cotta are a gift. Thank you!

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Jimmy September 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Can I use raw honey or Stevia instead of regular sugar?

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