Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets vegetarian

Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache

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I’m still talking about Tuscany – the food, photographs, memories.  All in constant re-play.  And although I visited this enchanting location last fall, Tuscany will forever remain in my heart.

DaVinci wine is created in a magical place. Tuscany is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. The air smells of sweet, sun ripened grapes and fresh herbs, muddled with the earthy scent of mineral rich soil.

The beauty of the Tuscan region mirrors the beauty of its people and its food.  A culture rich with history and laced with passion – a passion that transcends all boundaries and flows effortlessly onto the family table.

lavender panna cotta with dark chocolate ganache from Karista's Kitchen

Among all the plates of gloriously delicious food, It seems only fitting to include a dessert laced with an herb that grows freely in Tuscany.  Lavender bushes dot the landscape and scent the air with its sweet and earthy fragrance.

It happens to be one of my favorite herbs to incorporate into a sweet.  So, a lavender laced panna cotta with dark chocolate ganache felt the perfect dessert to end this storyteller’s meal.  And… a perfect beginning to spring.

You can find this lovely dessert on the DaVinci Wine Facebook pageClick here.  Also check out the other three multi-talented Storytellers: Jim O’Donnell, Kristina Laurendi Havens and Leela Cyd.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache


Makes 8 – 10 servings

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons crushed dried culinary lavender buds (found in the spice area of your market)

½ cup plus two tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons powdered gelatin

6 tablespoons cold water

For the Ganache

8 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

Heat the chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Let cool and then ladle over the panna cotta.


Heat the milk, heavy cream, sugar and crushed dried lavender buds in a sauce pan.  Stirring, let the milk heat and sugar dissolve.  However, don’t bring it to a boil or it could scald.

Let the milk and cream mixture sit for about 30 minutes to allow the lavender to infuse the milk.

Place the 6 tablespoons of cold water in the bottom of a large bowl.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it stand for about 5 minutes.

Strain the warm milk mixture to remove the lavender.  Then pour the milk mixture over the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is dissolved.

Ladle the panna cotta into small serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but will be firmer if  refrigerated longer.

Before serving prepare the dark chocolate ganache and top each panna cotta with the warm chocolate.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves or candied cherries.




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  • Reply
    Saffron & Honey
    February 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Such a delicate and delightful combination, Karista! Lavender is sometimes hard to get right (too much or too little!), but you always do it perfectly.

    • Reply
      February 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you. So true Ksenia…Lavender is sometimes hard to get just right. I like a little stronger lavender flavor but many don’t, so I try to keep my lavender to a minimum in my recipes. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Ooh, great twist with the lavender.

    • Reply
      February 20, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you! It is a lovely and creamy dessert with just enough dark chocolate to make it feel oh so decadent. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Book
    February 21, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Quite simply – heavenly!
    Have a super weekend Karista.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Mandy! You have a wonderful weekend too 🙂

  • Reply
    Michael Housewright
    February 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    This is one of the sexiest desserts I have seen in awhile….just awesome

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Lol! Thanks Michael! I had something similar in Italy, only without the lavender, and they were served in tiny espresso cups. So fun and so delicious. Just the right amount of dessert after an indulgent meal. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I saw this on Facebook and couldn’t help but think that it was one of the prettiest desserts I’ve seen, and definitely the prettiest and most delectable panna cotta! I don’t think I’ve ever seen lavender paired with chocolate, so I’d be very interested to try and to taste this. So elegant.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Betsy! It’s a lovely presentation for a dinner party and just the perfect about of sweet after a flavorful meal. When we lived in Seattle we were always visiting our Lavender capitol of the PNW, a town called Sequim (pronounced skwim). Every summer we’d visit this little café for lunch and a little dessert. They served a chocolate mousse laced with lavender that was out of this world. I’m sort of hooked now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    February 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    A lovely presentation, Karista. I love anything with dark chocolate…topping panna cotta with it is delicious.

    • Reply
      March 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Me too Karen! I could top just about anything with dark chocolate. Hope you’re staying warm on the East Coast!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Magical smells, tastes and sites always accompany any holiday. When there’s food involved there’s a sure fire way to enjoy those memories back home in the kitchen. These panacotta are the loveliest use of lavender by far 🙂

    • Reply
      March 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you Alli! I do love lavender and put it in quite a few things including savory dishes. Love a heavily laced herbs de Provence roasted chicken 🙂

  • Reply
    February 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    This looks absolutely divine Karista. Such an elegant dessert… it looks so simple but I know there’s a huge amount of balance and technique to get it ‘just right’ like you have 🙂 I love lavender infused desserts. I actually had a lavender and soy milk cocktail the other day, with Hendrick’s gin… it was amazing!! I never would’ve thought it would work, but it did. Thanks for sharing your memories of Tuscany with us. I’ve been enjoying the escapism when reading! xx

    • Reply
      March 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Oh that sounds amazing Laura! You should post that one! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Chocolate on top of panna cotta- why have I not thought of that! This looks lucious. How could anyone tire of hearing about Tuscany. Keep it coming. xx

    • Reply
      March 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Lol! Wendy you create loads of fabulous recipes that I love and admire! I happen to have an obsession with lavender. I even use it in savory recipes. Got to a point my family asked me to hold out the lavender they were so tired of it.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

    This looks so delicious! I’ll join in with the others saying I should have thought about this combination before. Thank you for sharing 🙂 And wonderful photos!

    • Reply
      March 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      You are so welcome Anne. So glad you love the recipe. And as I told Wendy, you come up with loads of creative ideas which is why I love visiting your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    John Hobson
    May 4, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Unfortunately, the recipe is no longer available on Facebook. Could you please reprint it?

    • Reply
      May 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Absolutely John. I will add it to the recipe on my website. Thank you!

  • Reply
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