Masala Chai Panna Cotta is flavored with everything that makes a good masala chai, and is an easy elegant dessert. It's the perfect finish to dinner and will leave you asking for seconds.
I have always been scared of attempting desserts because they require more finesse than I think I have. Everything changed with this masala chai panna cotta. It's definitely one of the most elegant things I've put on the table lately and I was surprised by how easy it was.
Panna cotta is simply sweetened cream thickened with gelatin. It can easily be a three ingredient dessert - cream, sugar, gelatin or four ingredient if you add vanilla. Or it can go into more elaborate flavors like chocolate, strawberry, orange etc.
We took a classic panna cotta recipe and flavored it with everything that goes into masala chai and the result is stellar! This masala chai panna cotta is delicious, creamy, light and so EASY!
Masala Chai Panna Cotta in five steps
Step #1 is flavoring the panna cotta with chai and spices. Tea and spices are steeped in some milk and brought to a boil
Step #2 is adding the cream, vanilla and sugar and simmering till all the sugar melts. Once the sugar melts, gelatin is added to the mixture
Step #3 is sieving this mixture so that we are left with masala chai flavored cream
Step #4 is pouring into moulds and refrigerating to set
Step #5 is demoulding the panna cotta once its set
All panna cotta recipes follow the same five steps, and you'll see how ridiculously easy it is to make one.
Gelatin for Panna Cotta
A key ingredient for panne cotta is gelatin. You can easily find granular unflavored gelatin in most stores. We like to bloom the gelatin in some warm water and add it towards the end. If you don't eat gelatin, you can also use agar agar as a substitute.
While making panna cotta is fairly simple, demoulding is what I find the most tricky. You can serve panna cotta in ramekins, or whatever you use to set it, but demoulded panna cotta, still wobbly but holding its shape is the most amazing thing in the world!
Demoulding Panna Cotta
To demould panna cotta, slide a knife around the edges. Then dip the ramekin (or mould) in hot water for 3-4 seconds. Let the ramekins sit for 5-10 seconds and then turn them upside down on a plate. Tap the bottom of the ramekin gently and the panna cotta should fall out. If it doesn't, repeat the process of dipping it in warm water in two second increments.
Serve this with:
- Fresh fruits like figs, cherries, oranges which are all flavours that complement masala chai
- Chocolate or caramel sauce
- Chopped nuts and chocolate shavings
More Custards and Puddings:
- Stovetop Coconut Caramel Custard
- Baileys Tiramisu Trifle Cups (without egg)
- Golden Turmeric Milk Chia Seed Pudding
- Cinnamon Bread Pudding
- Intense Eggless Chocolate Mousse
Watch Masala Chai Panna Cotta Recipe Video
Masala Chai Panna Cotta
- ¼ cup (60 g) Milk
- 1 tablespoon Tea leaves we used tata gold
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves Cardamom
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 cups (480 g) Fresh cream
- ⅓ cup (67 g) Sugar
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Gelatine or use vegetarian gelatin
- 3 tablespoon Water cold
- Rub oil on the insides of four six ounce ramekins and wipe them to get rid of any excess.
- Place milk, tea leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat once it starts boiling and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add cream, sugar and pepper and whisk on a low heat till the sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and mix.
- Meanwhile, add gelatin to cold water and allow it to bloom. Once it's bloomed, add it to the panna cotta mixture and mix well.
- Strain the mixture using a sieve and a cheesecloth to get rid of any sediments. Divide the mixture in the ramekins and let them cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to a day.
- To unmould, run a knife along the edges of the panna cotta. Then dip the ramekins in warm water for 3-4 seconds. Let them sit for another 5 seconds and then invert them onto a plate. Tap gently to allow the panna cotta to fall.
- Blooming Gelatin: It's really important to bloom gelatin in cold water. If the water is even slightly warm before it blooms, the gelatin will start cooking and become lumpy
- Gelatin: Use good quality gelatin. During our tests, we realised the quality of gelatin makes a huge difference to the final panna cotta.
- To demould panna cotta, slide a knife around the edges. Then dip the ramekin (or mould) in hot water for 3-4 seconds. Let the ramekins sit for 5-10 seconds and then turn them upside down on a plate. Tap the bottom of the ramekin gently and the panna cotta should fall out. If it doesn't, repeat the process of dipping it in warm water in two second increments.