Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta with Pistachio Tuiles

There is something ethereal about panna cotta amid the heat and humidity of summer. It’s cool, silky, light and rich, all at once. And holds its own against the much-loved summer dessert, the ice cream, although a bit more grown-up in its presentation. It is easier to chill and serve panna cotta in glasses. No unmolding is necessary. Paired it with mango puree (as in this recipe) or a berry coulis, you have a beautiful and luxurious dessert made — fit for summer entertaining.

A perfect make-ahead dessert served at the end of a meal. It does not take long to put it together. A few hours of chilling in the refrigerator for the panna cotta to set is all it takes. Panna cotta can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Plain vanilla-mango panna cotta

The vanilla-mango panna cotta recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Chez Moi (p.370). Mango puree is made from blending ripe mangoes with some lime juice. I used an immersion blender and blended three mangoes (pits removed), more than what the recipe calls for, in a small bowl, while tasting it along the way. Dorie recommends adding some honey. I left that out since I like the tartness of the lime juice against the sweetness of the mango and the panna cotta. The flavor combination is just right. I love the taste and the color of the ripe mango — vibrant with a tropical note.

The flavor of vanilla (accented by the pulpy seeds from one bean) is infused in an equal portion of whole milk and heavy cream mixture. The mixture was then thickened with one envelope of unflavored powdered gelatin. Nothing more involved than that. Except one: I strained the panna cotta mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. I can’t quite decide which one I like better: the vanilla-flavored panna cotta or the mango puree? I vary the proportion of these two components in each glass so everyone can choose the right combination for their liking.

What might be lacking, perhaps, is textural contrast. I played up to that by topping the panna cotta with some pistachio tuiles. That’s the first bite before digging into the panna cotta. I always enjoy having that crunchy crackling crown of a thin cookie on top of the soft and soothing cream underneath, the way it’s served in some restaurants. That’s my inspiration to recreate a more dressed-up panna cotta, layered with the pistachio tuiles on top. A real cool dessert, texture and all!


Topped with pistachio tuiles

I submitted this post to “Tuesdays with Dorie,” my second one. You can find wonderful postings on how other bakers have approached this recipe here.

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  • Reply
    July 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Your panna cotta looks delicious! Great idea with the Pistachio Tuiles!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Very fancy – I love the pistachio tuiles!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 6:11 am

    I love your little dishes and I really gotta try the pistachio tuiles. Those look like they would be perfect with the panna cotta.

  • Reply
    steph- whisk/spoon
    July 28, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    yes, those are definitely restaurant-worthy! the tuile was a lovely addition, I'm sure.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Beautiful…and the pistachio tuiles were a perfect touch!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Love the dishes! And your whole presentation is so elegant!

  • Reply
    Margaret @approachingfood
    July 29, 2015 at 4:23 am

    I think your pistachio tuiles make the whole thing perfect! And I love the glasses you used for presentation!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I love the idea of adding the tuiles. It seems like a perfect combination!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2015 at 11:05 am

    They look just beautiful and the tuiles are a perfect touch.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Perfect together, I love the pistachio tuiles.

  • Reply
    jane of many trades
    July 30, 2015 at 11:47 am

    the tuile is a nice touch-something I have added in my role as pastry chef for a restaurant! bookmarking your recipe so that I can try making a tuile in my new kitchen.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I hope the tuiles work for you in the restaurant. Do err on the side of over-baking them to get that extra crunchiness.

  • Reply
    tricia s.
    August 1, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Wow – I already had considered this recipe a "keeper" but now I am going to have to add in the delicious tuiles next time ! What a difference they make in looks alone, and I can only imagine how delicious they are. Wonderful post.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Oh, I love the addition of the tuiles! Looking at everyone's posts makes me want to get some little heat-proof glasses.

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    August 3, 2015 at 1:24 am

    The pistachio tuiles look great. Good idea about pairing with contrasting textures.

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