Black Pepper Panna Cotta with Strawberries & Balsamic Syrup
Prep time
Cook time
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This dessert is a playful, yet sophisticated spin on the classic Italian combination of strawberries with black pepper and balsamic vinegar.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Panna Cotta:
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz) gelatin
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups plain full-fat yogurt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Balsamic Syrup:
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Sliced fresh strawberries
  1. To prepare the panna cotta, pour milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin, and set aside for 5 minutes to soften.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar and pepper over medium heat until wisps of steam appear. Remove from heat and add in the milk and gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and vanilla extract. Whisk in the cooled milk/cream/gelatin mixture, stirring until smooth and evenly combined.
  4. Pour into four 1-cup ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least four hours to set the gelatin, but preferably overnight to allow the pepper flavour to infuse throughout.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the balsamic syrup. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring regularly, until mixture is syrupy and reduced by half.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before using. (Leftover syrup will keep in the fridge for several weeks in an airtight container, and makes a wonderful topping for vanilla ice cream or fresh fruits)
  7. To serve, dip each ramekin very briefly into hot water to loosen the panna cotta, then carefully invert onto a dessert plate. Spoon sliced strawberries around each of the panna cottas, and drizzle with a spoonful or two of balsamic syrup. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Crumb: A Food Blog at