Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pomegranate and Pomegranate Syrup

May 1st, 2010


After being sent two lovely Royal Pom pomegranates from Catherine at Wordstom, I decided to try my hand (for a third time) at making a vanilla panna cotta with pomegranate, pomegranate syrup and lavender honey similar to the one served at Jonah’s at Whale Beach (I tried it at Taste of Sydney earlier this year – lovely!).


The Royal Pom pomegranates I was sent are grown in Australia, and the distributor Perfection Fresh, is Australian owned. Supporting Australian grown and owned produce and businesses is always a high priority. I also found out from the info I was sent that you can freeze the pomegranate arils for a year – so I’ve got some in the freezer, so we’ll see how they go.

With their lovely burst of flavour, you can see why I’ve already used pomegranates in this herb and fruit chicken dish.


Now, I mentioned this was my third time at trying to make this dessert – well, that’s because I thought I could make my own moulds for the panna cotta. And I couldn’t.

I have previously, successfully made moulds from baking paper, which support chocolate, and using acetate – which supports mousse. Although the panna cotta mix is too liquid – if there is a hole at the bottom of the mould, it leaks out. If you manage to twist the acetate in a way that there is no hole, it will leak into every spot possible and won’t come off easily either…


So I went and bought some cone moulds and although they certainly held the liquid, the panna cotta still stuck to the mould and needed a knife and a bit of patience for it to finally come out.


I also needed Nick’s help in holding the panna cotta upwards, as the cone was either the wrong shape (too high), or I needed a touch more gelatine for the liquid I had used (or I should have left it longer – as ones that were taken out the next day stood up a lot better). Either way – the vanilla panna cotta tasted lovely and went very well with the burst of flavour from the pomegranate arils, and the pomegranate syrup. (Can you believe I had no honey in the house! – this would have worked very nicely with the rest of the dessert).


Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pomegranate and Pomegranate Syrup

Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert
Inspiration: the dessert from Jonah’s at Whale Beach

Serves: 6-8

600ml cream
200ml milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
3 titanium strength gelatine leaves*
Oil for greasing

½ pomegranate, juiced [approx 75ml] (with a normal citrus juicer – wear an apron)
25g caster sugar

½ pomegranate, seeds/arils to serve
Honey or lavender infused honey, to serve

* the gelatine leaves I was using were titanium strength (5g each) – the packet said 1 sheet will set 250ml liquid (the same as 1 teaspoon of gelatine). As far as I know, 4 gold strength gelatine leaves set 250ml – you may need 12 gold strength gelatine leaves for this recipe. If you aren’t using a difficult mould like I did – less gelatine can be used (maybe 2 sheets) as this will produce a softer panna cotta.

Soak the gelatine leaves in water for 5 minutes, or until soft.

Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in the gelatine leaves until dissolved, then pour into a large bowl and stir to remove heat. Spray any moulds, that you want the panna cotta to come out of, with a bit of oil (if you are pouring into a glass, no oil is needed). Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce the heat before pouring into moulds. Allow to set for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.


For the pomegranate syrup, mix pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Reduce to half the volume or until at a flavour you are happy with (if left too long it will start to caramelise).

To serve, remove panna cotta from mould in the middle of a plate. Drizzle the pomegranate syrup around the panna cotta and scatter pomegranate arils. (Honey or lavendar infused honey can also be drizzled around the panna cotta).



  1. Trissa says:

    Is that how they’re made? They look lovely! Especially with the pomegranate surrounding it. Looks like a work of art.

  2. your pomegranate look wonderful! In the last photo it looks like the Panna Cotta can’t resist it too!

  3. Isabella says:

    Oh my, what a lovely looking dessert!! The pomegranate is a great contrast to the vanilla panna cotta!! Well done, keep those desserts coming!!

  4. That looks SO good Anita! I love how you got it to bend in the photos too which truly captures the fantastic movement of the dessert. Well done! 😀

  5. Barbara says:

    Anita, this is such a lovely presentation! Never thought of making panna cotta in a cone mold. So pretty! I’ve made a lot of panna cottas and think they are divine served with a strong opposing flavor…like your pomegrante or passion fruit puree, which I’ve done. They are so mild, they really need a zippy fruit accompaniment.
    I also love to infuse herbal flavors in the panna cotta.

  6. Katie says:

    Wow it looks so striking! Love the shape and the colour of the pomegranate is amazing

  7. Jeanne says:

    What a professional looking dessert! I had no idea how these were made, with special molds. I actually like the way that it looks with the cone off to the side a bit, especially in the first photo. Beautiful job!

  8. They look lovely curled over, but it must have been very tricky to unmould them when they’re so soft! The pomegranate gives a great colour contrast, and flavour contrast too I imagine.

  9. FFichiban says:

    OOohhh I can imagine these wobbling very nicely hee hee yummm those pomegranates sure look vividly tasty

  10. Brenda says:

    You are giving Jonah’s a run for their money! Hahahahah! Well done, it looks perfect!

  11. Rosa says:

    I love the shape of your panna cotta! That combo must be really delicious, yummy!



  12. Juliana says:

    Love the way you presented your panna cotta, very cute and the pomegranate sauce must go really well with it. Great photos 🙂

  13. sweetlife says:

    wonderful beautiful you really outdid yourself


  14. all I have to say is wow!! They look so fantastic and I absolutely love the “wooble”. So some reason they make me think of noddy though! lol

  15. Simply dainty. Thumbs up!!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  16. tee hee jiggle jiggle jiggle!

  17. Lauren says:

    They look fantastic! Also, i think the disposable martini glasses work well as moulds, the ones one would buy for picnics and parties 😛

  18. Eve says:

    Where do you buy cone moldings? It looks fab!!!

  19. jeanette says:

    it looks really professional!!! i have to try that to, thanks fore the inspiration lots of love broke sweden<3

  20. Hi Anita,
    I’m George Francisco and this is my signature dish! I was the chef of Jonahs at Whale beach. I appreciate that you have given them some credit but this dish is mine and I have been cooking it before I was the chef there. You have done this pretty well! I am surprised you didnt quite get the mould right because you said you tried this at Taste of Sydney and I taught it there. I can help you with this if you like. Also the secret of the nipple. I like it the speckled way you have done it but I can tell you one slight difference to get it perfect. I am very impressed that you made the mould and worked out the problems.
    I am now the chef of Roberts Circa 1876 and Restaurant Eighty Eight at Peppers Convent in the Hunter Valley. I still serve this dessert so if anyone is interested come in and try it. The Sydney Morning Herald just listed it as one of the years best desserts in the 2015 Good Food Guide.
    I am very happy that you ranked this dessert good enough to copy! Thank you!! Please feel free to mention me as the creator. 🙂

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