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In this recipe, Kate pairs the silkiness of an easy panna cotta custard with fresh cherries tossed in a bit of amaretto and candied almonds for crunch. The result is a creamy-fruity-toasty bite - you won’t want to put your spoon down! Rebecca, Recipe Hunter

Rebecca Small

THE RECIPE

Vanilla Bean Almond Panna Cotta with Fresh Cherries & Candied Toasted Almonds

Silky custard, almond crunch, and more than one cherry on top.

Ahh, summer cherries. These perfect bite-size mouthfuls of sweet summer fruitiness deserve a dessert that does them justice! Kate finds just the custard for the job: panna cotta. The brilliance of this Italian treat is in its simplicity: the basic panna cotta (literally meaning “cooked milk”) formula is nothing more than cream, sugar, and gelatin simmered together and refrigerated until set. But from these three ingredients you get a luscious and creamy dessert that tastes luxurious. Kate uses ricotta in lieu of cream and adds the flavors of almond and vanilla extract to this version of panna cotta. The almond flavors in the panna cotta are echoed with the toasty candied almonds, whose crunch contrasts with the silken custard. And finally, she highlights the flavor and texture of fresh cherries by keeping them unbaked. A dash of amaretto and sugar are all that’s needed to make these little fruits into a juicy topping for a dessert that’s just as good made the night before as it is the day of. Prepare the panna cotta a day earlier, and let it hang out in the fridge until you’re ready to serve – add toppings and you’re good to go!

THE CHEF

Kate Donahue

Blogger, Baker, Dessert-Maker

Kate Donahue from Food Babbles

The kitchen is a place to learn and experiment. I love seeing a recipe come to life. I also feel that food is something to be shared, whether that be enjoying a meal together or teaching my daughters to cook.

Kate is the lady behind the babble at Food Babbles, where this mom of three photographs, writes about, and shares the recipes that result from her culinary adventures. Kate is a particular fan of getting creative with her desserts. She participates in #BakeTogether, a monthly occurrence where bloggers from all around the web put their own spin on an assigned recipe. She also helped create First on the First – where interested cooks and bloggers make something that is a “first” for them on the first of each month. Kate’s adventurous spirit carries far beyond the kitchen – she is a paramedic, and when she is not blogging or whipping up family-approved recipes, she is off saving lives.

We love Kate’s enthusiasm for sharing and creating good food. Check out Food Babbles and say hello to Kate on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

THE TIP

How to Use Powdered Gelatin

Gelatin is a magical substance that can turn any liquid into a jelly-like consistency. Here are a few steps you should know on how to use it.

Read the full tip >

  • Alice Choi

    I love Kate! Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

    • Rebecca Small

      So glad you like the recipe! We think she’s pretty great, too.

  • Andrea Butler

    Looking forward to trying this one, think it would be fabulous with marinated fruits too!

    • Rebecca Small

      Definitely, Andrea! We’d love to hear about how your experiments go – let us know in the comments!