Green Tea and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Chocolate Sauce

1 April 2005

This is delicious and dead easy to make! I don’t drink green tea as much as I should (I say this because I am Japanese and that green tea is good for you), but I really like it when used in desserts or cooking.

I’ve made some desserts with green tea and all of them were pretty good (my favourite is green tea ice cream). I saw this recipe in Delicious magazine a while ago – it’s Jamie Oliver’s and he says that it’s got to be one of the best combos he’s tasted in the past 10 years. I wouldn’t go that far, but I agree that green tea and chocolate go really well together. I don’t make panna cotta very often because it’s a little too creamy for me, but this one works well with the bitterness of the green tea. Also you make this with milk and cream (rather than just cream) so it’s not as heavy as normal ones.

I’m lucky to have some matcha (or maccha) at hand which my mum kindly sends me (she teaches tea ceremony). Matcha is powdered green tea, normally from better leaves, so can be quite expensive.

As you can see from the picture, the colour of the panna cotta is a bit yellowy, that’s because green tea changes its colour when it’s cooked (I’ve used matcha specially made for cooking so that it keeps its vivid colour). In this recipe, Jamie suggests just using tea bags or normal loose tea (not ground ones) to flavour and I’m sure that would work just as well as matcha.

I made matcha sauce (matcha and double cream) along with the chocolate sauce (I thought it might look pretty!), it works well as long as you don’t have too much of it!

Makes 4

100ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed
3 green tea bags or 2 heaped tablespoons of green tea
350ml double cream
1 1/4 leaves of gelatine, soaked in water
70g icing sugar
30g caster sugar
150ml water
1 level tablespoon cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Put the milk, vanilla pod and seeds, tea bags or tea and half the cream in a small pan and slowly simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and extract the tea bags (put the mixture through a sieve if you’ve used loose tea or you tea bags have burst). Squeeze out the gelatine, discarding the soaking water, then stir the gelatine into the tea mixture and leave to dissolve. Allow to cool a little, then place in the fridge, stirring occasionally until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla pod.

Whip together the icing sugar and the remaining cream. Mix the two cream mixtures together. Divide into four metal moulds (small glasses or cappuccino cups also work well). Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, place the caster sugar, the water and the cocoa in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in the broken chocolate. Stir until dissolved and warm briefly before serving.

To serve, sometimes I dip the mould or cup into some simmering water to loosen the panna cotta, then turn it out on to a plate and spoon the chocolate around it, or – especially if you feel the mixture is a bit wet – you can simply serve the dessert in its cup with chocolate sauce poured over the top.

Food - Sweet        26 comments    Permalink

  • Oh my, Keiko! My parents love panna cotta. I’m going to have to try this for them(despite the fact that I don’t know where to find a few of the ingredients!) I’m so happy when you post your recipes!

    Posted by caryn | 2 April 2005 #
  • This looks soooooooooo yummy!
    I have to add this to my list of things to make.
    I’m doing a matcha tapioca tomorrow!

    Posted by joyce | 2 April 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I really love panna cotta! It has been in my dessert repertoire for ages, always wanted to try a little variation, but somehow never did. We’ll definitely give this combination a try, wonderful preparation as usual ;) Btw...Delicious is my favorite food magazine. It’s always on my wish-list, when Oliver has some business in London... The newspaper shops here in Munich don’t even know it! What a shame...

    Posted by Nicky | 2 April 2005 #
  • Wow- Are you doing all this in your home kitchen? Not only are your photographs stunning, but the food itself looks very professional. I am quite impressed with everything.

    Posted by Dana | 3 April 2005 #
  • pardon me while i go and mop the floor from all these salivating :) Nice looking panna cotta, great job :)

    Posted by mellie | 4 April 2005 #
  • i saw this recipe in the delicious magazine too.. and i’ve been meaning to try it but haven’t gotten to it yet. now i really must!! the combo sounds delicious and it looks beautiful.

    Posted by Emily | 5 April 2005 #
  • hi Keiko, I too, love Delicious magazine. Always drooling for their sumptuous dishes and desserts. But that combination is quite intriguing - must try it sometime. :)

    Posted by celiaK | 6 April 2005 #
  • Hi Caryn - I hope you can get hold of some green tea and that your parents like the combos!

    Hi Joyce - Your tapioca looked delicious!

    Hi Nicky - I think you’ll like this if you like green tea... I just had a look at Delicious subscription page, but they don’t seem to send outside the UK... I could send them to you if you want me to, so let me know.

    Hi Dana - thanks for visiting, yes, I do all this in my kitchen! Although I take most of the food to the living room to take pictures because I can’t get enough light in our kitchen.

    Hi Mellie - thank you for visiting, you must be a big panna cotta fan too...

    Hi Emily - thanks for visiting, the issue was more than a year ago, wasn’t it? To be honest I don’t think their recipes are very inspiring, but I like the pictures and reading the articles too.

    Hi Celia - Do you read Olive as well? I think I prefer it to Delicious, but if I had to choose one from British food magazine, it’d be Food & Travel - their photos are gorgeous and the recipes are interesting too.

    Posted by keiko | 6 April 2005 #
  • How did I miss this? Ah yes, April 1st being April Fool’s Day and I was too busy thinking up some clever tricks to play on my poor husband!

    The only thing I can say about this, just from reading the title, is that I will try it. Soon. You make the most wonderful things that appeal IMMEDIATELY to my sweet tooth! (sigh) ;-)

    Posted by rowena | 7 April 2005 #
  • Hi Rowena - you are so funny! (and did your poor husband fall for your tricks?) Do you like green tea as well? Can you get it easily in Italy? I know it’s been popular in France for a while.

    Posted by keiko | 12 April 2005 #
  • Thanks for finally teaching me what matcha means! This looks great Keiko.

    Posted by Kelli | 20 April 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, this looks fab! I just discovered the world of blogs recently and started started my own this month! I happened across yours today and think you are very talented! You’ll have to give me advice about how to get everything looking so fantastic. I’ll be back to drool some more....
    P.S. I’m in London, do you know where I could buy powdered Matcha?

    Posted by Vivilicious | 27 April 2005 #
  • Hi Kelli - Is matcha popular in NYC too? You can find matcha sweets everywhere in Paris!

    HI Vivilicious - thanks for your compliment, I’m not 100% sure, but I think you can get matcha at Japanese grocery stores in London. Have you been to Japan Center in Piccadilly?

    Posted by keiko | 27 April 2005 #
  • Nice presentation. I like how the green drops on the plate reflect on the side of the cup.

    Posted by Smoove D | 14 May 2005 #
  • Dear Keiko

    Your blog is utterly inspiring. I’ve been wanting to make green tea ice-cream for the longest time, but all the Japanese cookbooks I have don’t feature it (in fact many don’t even include desserts). What’s your favourite recipe?

    Posted by Icecream lover | 7 June 2005 #
  • Hi Icecream lover - thank you for dropping by. I’m going to put a recipe for green tea ice-cream sometime, although I think the quality/taste of the matcha effects the flavour when making something simple like that. Do you speak Japanese? If so, I’m sure you can find quite a few recipes on the internet.

    Posted by keiko | 16 June 2005 #
  • Dear Keiko

    Unfortunately, I don’t read Japanese. I look forward to seeing your recipe. Inspired by your caramel-chocolate tarlettes, I’ve bought a copy of The Last Course.

    Posted by Icecream lover | 27 June 2005 #
  • Hi Icecream lover - sorry for the late reply. I’ll try to post about the matcha ice cream soon. I’m glad you got the last course - it’s a beautiful book, isn’t it? Have you tried anything from it yet? Let me know if you find something nice!

    Posted by keiko | 15 July 2005 #
  • wow, your desserts are amazing, inspiring and i love the simplicity, i just found your blog from, another mind boggling site, with amazing desserts and photos, produced from someone not trained in the industry.

    i am also a culinary grad , photographer and pastry cook, i have to ask, what kind of camera are you shooting with, and are you using tripod???

    natural or artifical lighting?

    whatever, your work is amazing, i wouldnt be suprised if you have gotten tons of job offers, keep up the good work!!

    Posted by Alexa Hernandez | 18 November 2005 #
  • Hi keiko

    i ’m literally spending all day reading your blog, it’s amazing, like a book.

    I have to share a dessert i made recently for the prix fixe menu at the restaurant I worked at.

    Green tea creme brulee,it was cooked in these little plastic dario? molds that come from australia, so the brulee is actually inverted out on to the plate, and the sugar is burned on top of it. I paired it with a slice of pain coi santi toast (raisin walnut bread), on one end of the toast was pear jam, and the other end was a small scoop of vanilla, with a pear chip.

    green tea is a good thing!

    Posted by Alexa Hernandez | 19 November 2005 #
  • Hi Alexa - thanks so much for your kind notes. Your green tea creme brulee sounds wonderful, is there any chance I can see the picture of it? (or if you’ve posted about it already, please let me know the link) Regarding cameras, I got a Canon 350D a few months ago - so recent pics are taken with that but before then I was using a Minolta A2 and I’ve taken most of the pics on this site with it (including this post). I have a tripod, but haven’t got any lighting equipment.

    Posted by keiko | 23 November 2005 #
  • Where can I find Matcha tea in the uk?.

    Posted by alex jones | 21 March 2007 #
  • Dear Keiko,

    I chanced upon your site today, while looking for where to buy matcha tea in London, and I couldn’t go without commenting on it. This is the most beautiful blog I’ve ever seen! Your photography, food and layout are simply stunning. It’s been such a pleasure browsing here. Thank you, and I wish you every success!

    Posted by saralou | 2 August 2007 #
  • Hi Alex – I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I’m not sure whereabouts in the UK you are based, but there are some people selling it online. I don’t think the qualilty would be the best, but you should be able to use it for cooking.

    Hi Saralou – thank you so much for your kind note, hope you found some matcha and enjoyed them!

    Posted by keiko | 21 January 2008 #
  • Anyone know where I can buy green tea chocolate or icecream in the uk?

    Posted by Kim | 27 February 2008 #
  • Hi Kim – I’ve tried them from some chocolate shops/patisserie outside the UK (Paris is a good place for that, if not Tokyo :)), but I’m not sure where you can find any in the UK. I’ll write when I find out, or you should be able to find some people selling online too.

    Posted by keiko | 4 March 2008 #

Commenting is closed for this article.