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Recipe: rose green tea-infused panna cotta with passion syrup

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I’m tickled, really. My nose has been feeling ticklish for the past couple of days and so I know pine pollen season is here for the next few weeks. I love Nature and apparently she is loving me right back. So beautiful and yet so sniffly…

larkspur bask in the sunshine

chickweed is going gangbusters

green season underway at last

Last summer I attempted to make my own rose syrup from scratch except it was impossible to find organic roses without sneaking into someone’s yard down in Boulder and swiping them. That and there was no way to know for sure that they were organic (but considering it’s Boulder, chances are good). I like that delicate floral aroma lingering in my nose and the roof of my mouth when I taste a rose dessert, but had to shelve the idea for a while. That is until I saw Helen’s fabulous post on cherry, rose, and coconut ice cream. My dear friend inspires me all the time and I know I’m not the only one. I see all manner of recipes and photographs that mimic her fantastic style – mimic, but alas cannot surpass the maestra.

She put the roses back in my brain.

organic rose black tea and rose green tea

So no, I haven’t found a source for organic rose petals. I haven’t really been looking. I just happened upon two rose teas (a black and a green) at my local Whole Foods while searching for new Earl Grey teas for Jeremy to try (the man is always in search of Good Earl Grey). They smelled so good and the little hamster began running in my head… panna cotta.

panna cotta is easy peasy to make

It should come as no surprise to long-time readers that I like the combination of rose and panna cotta. I attempted this once before with my ispahan panna cotta, except I had to resort to rose syrup which was simple syrup flavored with rose water. But I wanted the rose IN the panna cotta, not ON it.

letting the tea steep in hot cream and milk

I let the tea steep for 15 minutes and I think that was a bit longish. Perhaps more in the neighborhood of a 5-10 minute steep would be better (correction! Thanks to Brittany it’s more like 1-3 minutes). Those who know tea better than I (which is just about anyone) should taste the cream until the desired strength is achieved. After straining the tea out, I stirred in the gelatin and a little bit of sugar. I used more gelatin than I typically like because I wanted to unmold this panna cotta. I wound up using too much, but that’s because I had wung it. If you plan to serve in a vessel rather than unmolding, you can get away with less gelatin.

pouring into a greased ramekin

Greasing the mold is a good idea for ease of release. Just be sure to wipe off any excess so you don’t have floating islands of oil in your panna cotta.

I paired the panna cotta with a passion fruit syrup. I am nuts over passion fruit and because I can’t get my hands on any around here, I look for bottles of passion fruit concentrated syrup in Asian grocery stores when I visit my Grandma in California. If you have access to fresh passion fruit – more power to ya (and I am utterly utterly jealous). If you can find passion fruit concentrate or syrup, you can use that too.

simple syrup and passion fruit concentrate

I mixed 1 part simple syrup with 2 parts passion fruit concentrate with 5 parts water. Really, you’ll just have to mix it up to taste since they will all vary. Since there wasn’t much sugar in my panna cotta, I made the syrup a little sweeter.

garnishes: cherry, matcha powder, dried rose

Panna cotta can be so featureless that I decided to sprinkle a little matcha powder on top. I didn’t realize it would also play nicely with the hint of green tea in the panna cotta. I like it better with matcha powder than without. The panna cotta itself had a strong rose presence because I let it steep too long. The floral aspect comes out in front and then green tea and dairy linger with the passion fruit. It’s a bright and refreshing combination. I highly recommend it.

rose green tea panna cotta with passion fruit syrup

Rose Green Tea-Infused Panna Cotta with Passion Syrup
[print recipe]

1 cup (250g) heavy cream
1 cup (250g) whole milk
1 tbsp rose green tea
2 tsps (6g) powdered unflavored gelatin (add a little more if unmolding)
2 tbsps water
1 tbsp (12g) sugar
matcha powder for garnish

passion syrup
2 oz. passion fruit concentrate (or fresh is even better, but I couldn’t tell you how much to use)
1 oz. simple syrup, to taste (you may not need any if concentrate is sweetened)
about 1 cup (250 ml) water, to taste

Warm the cream and milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add the tea. Cover and let steep for 1-3 minutes (no more than 5!). Sprinkle gelatin over the water to soften. Strain the tea leaves out of the cream when desired strength of flavor is reached. While the cream is still warm, stir in the gelatin and sugar until completely dissolved (you can help it along over gentle heat if it isn’t dissolving). Pour into greased (and well-wiped) molds. Refrigerate until set (about an hour, but it depends on how much gelatin you use). Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the passion syrup together, adding water until it is the right sweetness and concentration of flavor. When the panna cotta is set, take a sharp knife and run it along the edge of the mold and/or dip the bottom of the mold into warm or hot water to help release the panna cotta. Invert the panna cotta onto a serving dish and pour syrup over or around it. Sprinkle with matcha powder. Serves four 1/2-cup servings.

53 nibbles at “tickled”

  1. Tartelette says:

    Holy shoot! That is absolutely stunning and no *snorting* from us here at the peanut gallery. I just want to dive into the screen. Ah! From the tea infused cream to the splendid garnishes everything is just perfect.
    Ok, I need to stop or people are going to get the wrong idea and we all know I only dream of Mr. McHottie. (yes. again).

  2. Y says:

    Beautiful presentation! Those teas look like they would make an amazing brew too.

  3. TheKitchenWitch says:

    As always, abso-freaking-fabulous. You always make my jaw drop.

  4. anna says:

    That sounds incredible and I love the presentation with the matcha and cherries. I always have dried rosebuds on hand and include one often in my afternoon tea blend. It goes really well with Irish Breakfast or any flat-tasting black tea, but I also have some lychee-flavored black tea that also works wonderfully. I’m going to have to look for passion fruit concentrate. I can buy them fresh but they are $2.50 each – I wouldn’t even buy them at that price if it weren’t for my passion fruit-loving boyfriend.

  5. Allison Day says:

    Holy cow! That’s beautiful… amazing… just wow.

  6. Sarah (Coffee Beans and Curry Leaves) says:

    Your picture of the loose-leaf tea is beautiful! I think I might just have to go make myself a cup of tea in the meantime – and then of course set about making this beautiful recipe!

  7. Elisa says:

    Wow… Honestly this is one of the most beautiful desserts I’ve ever seen. And I have a LOAD of rosehip tea sitting around… I may have to try this (or something like, because I tend to wing things too – BTW I LOVE the past-tense “wung”!).

  8. Brittany says:

    Gorgeous! I agree, the tea photo made me want to go make some tea =)

    Speaking of which, I’m not sure about with milk (since I only seep black tea in milk) but green tea has a pretty short steep time (1-3 minutes at 175F) steeping anymore than 5 would probably make it a bit bitter. My seep times for black tea in milk are generally about the same as in water, maybe a minute more at most.

    I dunno, just some musings from a tea junkie =)

  9. Caitlin says:

    Like I said earlier – om nom nom :) And your photos make me wish I was heading out to Boulder sooner than mid-July – Colorado spring is gorgeous! As far as tea, I’m with Jeremy. Give me a good Earl Grey any day!

  10. Fiona says:

    Your photography can be so interesting. That shot with the sliced cherry plays all kinds of tricks with my perception: is the cherry huge, or is the spoon tiny? What am I really seeing there?

    In other news, if we still lived in Pasadena, you could have organic roses from my garden. But, alas, we now live in a place where I have not attempted to grow roses. But if you know anyone who grows old garden roses from David Austin, you could get some roses from them. His Fair Bianca smells really strongly of old rose. And if that doesn’t work, my friend Miriam might be able to send you some. She has about 4 old roses, at least one of which smells “rose”-y.

  11. cindy says:

    love this…so pretty and the flavors sound amazing together. starbucks killed matcha powder for me ( i worked there for a year in college…blehhhh), but it looks like it is time to just get over it and try it out again. also, that trail photo is amazing…like walking into an enchanted forest.

  12. Whitney says:

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  13. charlane says:

    beautiful and artistic

  14. tz.missjane says:

    Wonderful presentation.
    Love the sliced cherry with the Matcha Powder and that barely visible pool of passionfruit. Wow.

  15. Irene says:

    I just love the cherry/matcha/rose photo.

  16. Caramelsutra says:

    This looks amazing and delicious! Last year, Inspired by your Ispahan pannacotta, I attempted my own version with ‘gulkand’, something my Mom sent me from India. Gulkand is rose petals steeped and cooked in sugar (basically, rose jam). I could smell it through the package she sent it in. It is brown, rather than a vivid red. I added the gulkand to the hot cream and let it steep for about half an hour before straining the gulkand and going forth with the recipe. It was amazing. I garnished it with a rose petal plucked off the solitary organic rose I got from our neighborhood organic co-op. Just beautiful…I love love LOVE your pictures, and am homesick for Colorado…I just moved away from Boulder last year :(

  17. Iscuso says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while but had never commented before. I do love your writing, recipes, photographs and, as a local, your restaurant reviews.

    I wanted to let you know that I have bought delicious passion fruits and fresh guavas at AVANZA Latin Market in Westminster. Maybe you can swing by if you’re ever in the area.

    Best, Is

  18. Collette says:

    That’s really beautiful. I can’t believe how pretty that cherry is just fanned out like that.

  19. Steph F. says:

    During a recent pantry clean-out I found a five year old bottle of that exact passion fruit concentrate! Threw it out just to be sure, but I love that it says “Passion Juice” on the label. Quite scandalous :P

    And of course, to reiterate everyone’s comments, lovely photos and post as always :)

  20. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Oh, Jen! You have outdone yourself this time! That panna cotta is spectacular! It’s one of the most stunning desserts I’ve ever seen. That last photo belongs on the cover of Gourmet!

    There is a cute little spice shop a few blocks from my house that used to carry organic dried rosebuds. I’m going to stop by tomorrow and see if they still have them. If I find them, I’m so making this. And, I’ll pick up a bag for you too!

  21. susan says:

    i’ve never tried panna cotta – but is this similar to the double boiled or steamed milk desserts in asia? i tried a warm milky gelatinous desert in HK once, that resembles your panna cottas – but nothing quite as exquisite in detail. what a beautiful combination you’ve created here. you’ve used your imagination to bring this together – and, i’ll have to use mine to smell/taste it…it’s quite sensory stimulating. ty

  22. Rosa says:

    A delightful dessert and gorgeous nature shots!

    Cheers and have a great end of week,


  23. JessW says:

    Ohmygosh! Wow, just wow! That is such an amazing creation, beautiful work!

  24. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    That’s very pretty, and I like the idea of steeping the tea in the milk. Is it warm enough for you to grow a passionfruit? I once read about someone who had a pot inside (and trained through a hole in the window!), so it might be a possibility.

  25. Allie says:

    I was going to go get panna cotta from Trader joe’s soon but now I’ll probably make it. Awesome.

  26. Lorna says:

    this looks so great i had to search for some organic roses to encourage you to do more :) here’s what i found:

  27. Botacook says:

    This forest photo is gorgeous!

  28. Manggy says:

    Sorry to hear about your allergy woes– hope the meds are doing their thing. Tea and passionfruit is a combination that I’ve rarely heard, but of course you never fail to make it appealing for everyone :) Actually we do get fresh passionfruit here, but I’d sooner trust passionfruit juice out of a bottle because there’s at least some guarantee that the product will taste like passionfruit. I’ve had passionfruit that gave me no clue that their insides would be totally tasteless :P Love panna cotta– it always takes me back to Italy. Sigh..

  29. Pegs says:

    Beautiful and so creative. I want to slurp the whole thing right up! How do you come up with these amazing things, Jen?

  30. Karen B says:

    That dessert is absolutely beautiful!

    My CSA grower sells to individuals, but her main income comes from restaurant sales. She grows organic roses, mainly to supply to restaurants as an accent in their salad mixes – especially around mother’s day. This year, restaurants are trying to save money and they haven’t been buying “extras” like rose petals, so she has been putting them in our CSA boxes – and feeding them to the goats! If you decide to put a lot of energy into finding those organic roses, you might try your local restaurant supply farmer.

  31. Binsy says:

    It’s probably my pregnancy but, I’m still giggling over “passion juice.”

  32. Dayna says:

    Very stunning from start to finish!

  33. Bridget says:

    You just reminded me of a culinary hole I have – I’ve never eaten anything rose-flavored. I’ve never been sure what the best way to add the flavor is, so I’ll have to keep an eye for the tea.

    Speaking of tea, the best Earl Grey I’ve tried is Republic of Tea. In fact, trying that tea started me off an a whole black tea drinking phase that I’ve been loving for the last few months.

  34. Debbie says:

    Everything you make just looks so good and this is no exception! Love your pics of the wildflowers…

  35. lisa ( says:

    This is such a beautiful dessert. I love all the flavors you’ve used. Great nature shots too, especially the flowers.

  36. Pearl says:

    your photos induce multiple visual orgasms. seriously.

  37. Marija says:

    This is so lovely! I made your coffee panna cotta a while ago and will deffinitely be making this recipe to. Too bad we live so far away, as I have a garden full of organic roses. I wish I could send you some.

  38. Amy says:

    So lovely, Jen! I love the pop of the dark, blood-red cherries against the pale panna cotta. Beautiful.

    Larkspur are one of my favorite flowers: I’m nuts over any true blue flower, and they just scream BLUE. Glad you’re getting to enjoy the flowers bursting out around you (visually, if not allergy-wise!)

  39. ALta says:

    I am in awe of your photography! This looks great. So creative, and yet you draw perfect focus to the beauty of each item. Love it.

  40. holly says:

    The color on the larkspur is breathtaking, and I’m terribly excited to be moving to Wyoming in a month and a half, where I can see those flowers in person. Your photography is a joy.

  41. Lori says:

    I still need to try panna cotta. Looks so lovely.

    Have you looked in the frozen foods section of Goya- they have a nice puree of passionfruit. I use it all the time for passionfruit curd. Dont know if Goya is big out there.

  42. Eesh says:

    I love panna cotta! I used to live in Rome and one of my favorite restaurants served a lovely rose-flavored panna cotta. But I must say your recipe looks even better– thank you for another beauty!

    BTW, off-topic but do you have any pastry bag tips somewhere on URB? My decorating attempts thus far have resembled finger-painting more than anything else :)

  43. Derek says:

    You should try passion fruit ice cream sometime. I forget who makes it but I see it at gourmet groceries sometimes. It tastes sooo good. I’m surprised passion fruit anything isn’t more popular than it is, but I think it’s starting to bridge the gap from Asian culture.

  44. Elle says:

    Jen your photos are always so gorgeous, makes me want to go out and buy a more advanced camera to take photos with! Your blog has always been my favourite :)

  45. Anita says:

    Divine! I love the flavor combination! I am like the only person in my family who doesn’t get hay fever (yep, they all hate me), so I would totally love to be meandering through that forest!

  46. Kimberly says:

    I’ve got tons of (organic) roses in my yard in Boulder… you’re more than welcome to come and pick some!

  47. jenyu says:

    Tartelette – ah ha ha! this is indeed an honor coming from the high priestess of the DBs :) xxoo You need to quit hogging Mr. McHottie too ;)

    Y – to be honest, I hadn’t even tried them as tea. I am just in love with the scent of them in my cupboards right now!

    TheKitchenWitch – thanks, hon!

    Anna – yes, passion fruits are expensive here too ($3/pop). *sigh* Thanks for the tip on the dried rosebuds. They’re so fragrant!

    Allison – thank you :)

    Sarah – ha ha, thanks!

    Elisa – it’s a simple one too, can you believe it? I’m all for winging it (as long as it works – ha!)

    Brittany – thank you for the info on the steeping time! I think you are absolutely right. I have almost zippo knowledge of tea, so I really appreciate that :)

    Caitlin – mid-July is probably a perfect time! It will be gorgeous!

    Fiona – oh, the spoon is small :) wow! I knew if I mentioned it, someone in the readership would know about roses!! Thanks :)

    Cindy – thanks! Sorry matcha was ruined for you. I feel Starbucks kinda ruins a lot of things ;)

    Whitney – thank you :)

    Charlane – thanks.

    MissJane – thank you!

    Irene – thanks!

    Caramelsutra – wow, that sounds awesome. I’m sure it smelled and tasted terrific.

    Iscuso – OMG! Thank you so much! I rarely head down there and when I do, I have no idea where anything is. So THANK YOU for the tip! I’ll have to check it out when I finish my stash of passion fruit concentrate :)

    Collette – thank you :)

    Steph – oh darn! I’m jealous that you had an extra bottle lying about ;)

    Susan @SGCC – you’re a sweetheart. And you don’t have to pick a bag up for ME!! I do hope you find some. I’ll have to check our local spice shop too (didn’t think of that!)

    Susan – It’s similar to the steamed milk desserts, I think. I haven’t had many of them. Panna cotta can be as gelatinous as you like. I like mine to be eaten from a cup more than unmolded (more creamy and less gelatin-y)

    Rosa – thank you and I hope you had a great weekend too.

    JessW – :)

    Arwen – oh, absolutely not, I think passion fruit like most other things would die at our elevation and climate.

    Allie – yay!! Make it yourself, it’s so bloody easy! :)

    Lorna – thanks for the tips! If I can locate a local source in Boulder, I’ll use them, otherwise – I appreciate the help.

    Botacook – thank you.

    Mark – ooooh, green tea (or black tea) and passion fruit are SUCH a good combination. I love it. You’ll be seeing more of it too! I’ve had passion fruit that made me pucker and cry in Hawai’i but that’s because I didn’t know it had to be RIPE before eating ;)

    Pegs – oh, it’s a rare rare occasion when I am struck with inspiration that actually gets anywhere ;) Thanks!

    Karen – that’s too bad about the roses and your CSA grower, but I am glad you’re getting some. Does it make the goats smell better? :) Thanks for the tip!!

    Binsy – I think it’s funny too!

    Dayna – thanks!

    Bridget – It’s not something I had much exposure to growing up and only in my college years did I start tasting “rose” anything. Love it. It’s sooo good. I’m sure you could probably find a rose tea someplace? Yes, I think I’ve bought some for Jeremy once before. He’s a picky one. As it stands now, his favorite is some brand that comes in a tin (loose) from England (of course!) ;) Whatever. It’s too hot to drink tea after March and before November for me.

    Debbie – thank you!

    Lisa – the flavors really play well together. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

    Pearl – ha ha! Thanks!

    Marija – oh bummer! Well, just make sure you use those lovely organic roses of yours! I’m jealous :)

    Amy – I really like the truly blue flowers too. Perhaps because they’re so uncommon compared to yellow and white flowers? Or maybe b/c I just love blue? :)

    Alta – thanks!

    Holly – oh, WY is a gorgeous place. Love it there with lots and lots of beautiful alpine flowers. Enjoy!

    Lori – I don’t even know what Goya is, but I’ll be on the look out. You’d think in Denver there would be some good ethnic markets for passion fruit stuff, right?

    Eesh – sorry, I don’t have pastry bag tips. I’m sure there are excellent resources online if you do a search. Practice definitely helps. I can’t really say I’m much of an expert there!

    Derek – That sounds amazing. Mmmmm. I’m also surprised it isn’t more popular as we encountered it all over Australia and New Zealand (and loved it).

    Elle – awww, thanks – you’re so sweet.

    Anita – wow, I am totally jealous of your non-allergy status, babe. But I’m happy for YOU, b/c allergies blow (literally?) ;)

    Kimberly – ha ha, thanks! I’ll have to look around and see if there are local businesses that sell dried buds or petals. YOU should enjoy your roses as they are, hon. :)

  48. Andrew Sartain says:

    I enjoyed your page immensely and shall continue to follow.
    I have been playing with elderflower infusions for similar desserts also.
    We have agreat many roses in our garden and am considering making a goodly quantity of rose water today
    Keep it up girlie………….i hope we might talk on twitter also

  49. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I get passion fruit here by the ton, Jen, and love it! Grew up on passion fruit juice. This is a fabulous idea – such delicious flavors together in a very delicate dessert. Bravo!

  50. jenyu says:

    Andrew – thanks! I have never tried elderflower anything before, but I’ve been wanting to since seeing it on many blogs. Sounds wonderful.

    Patricia – oh!!! So very very jealous. *sigh*

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  52. Jeni Quigg says:

    Searching for recipes with tea to post for my tea fans… May I repost this on facebook? It looks and sounds absolutely exquisite!!!!

    Btw – my Earl Grey got a superior rating at the North American tea championship this year… being obsessed with Earl Grey myself (searched 4 years for the best Bergamot!) I surely appreciate your husbands affinity. I hope you will one day try mine :D and let me know what you think. It’s got a super thick malty base..

    Best to you and great, great work!

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