entertaining by 13

in the kitchen with: abigail percy

i never know what to expect when designers tell me that they have a recipe in mind that they think will be perfect. and jewelry designer abigail percy has kept the success rate at 100% with her recipe this week for a delicious panna cotta! i love recipes for simple sweets that are foolproof- and i love them even more when you get to use cute containers like these for individual servings. part of me now wishes i had never seen these pictures because i know i’ll be spending some time on eBay and in markets looking for them so i can make this recipe! i hope you’ll enjoy abigail’s recipe as much as we did- click here for the full instructions and ingredients or just click “read more” below. -kristina [want to catch a sneak peek inside abigail percy’s home? click here to check it out]

about abigail: abigail percy is a designer/jeweler, living and working in glasgow’s fashionable west end. she graduated from glasgow school of art in 2005 and has been running her own business, making and selling her hand-made jewelery ever since…in addition to blogging, and selling her work online through her shop, she also sells her work through galleries and stores, both nationally and internationally.

Abigail Percy’s Panna Cotta

Wine Pairing: Bonny Doon Framboise Infusion of Raspberries

Note from Abigail: I have tried this recipe with both veggie gelatin, and also with the sheet variety, with not as much success as with supercook powdered…I find the powdered sachet variety very easy to use and gauge, but feel free to experiment with the others to achieve the right consistency – the good news is, the more testing you have to do, the more Panna Cotta you get to eat!

Ingredients :: (for a conversion calculator, visit Gourmet Sleuth)

1 Litre single cream (appx. 1 quart) {don’t be tempted to use double, it isn’t as good for some reason!}
2 OUNCES (4 tablespoons) of sugar {golden or unrefined caster is best}
1 and a half sachets/packets of powdered gelatin
2 vanilla pods
{water from a just boiled kettle}

{ You will also need approx 10-12 aluminum moulds {plain or decorative} or one big dish / jelly mould if you want to make a large one {it looks great in a ring mould}! Also, have some trays to hand to transfer the puddings to the fridge on…}

Steps ::

-First, split the vanilla pods lengthwise with a sharp knife…and then, with the flat of the knife, gently run it along the length of the pods to remove the black sticky seeds in each half….keep these seeds aside on your board as you will need them later!

-Place your sugar, your {now de-seeded} vanilla pods and all of the cream [which is equivalent to two large tubs in the UK] into a large saucepan and put it on the stove at a medium-low heat. You don’t want the cream to boil or get too hot at any point, rather, you are just aiming to dissolve the sugar and help the flavour from the vanilla infuse into the cream.

-From your just boiled kettle, pour about half a cup of this hot water into a bowl or cup….take your gelatin sachets and sprinkle 1 and a half of them onto the water and briskly whisk the gelatin into the water with a fork or mini-whisk….

-Pour this into the pan of cream on the stove and continue with your gentle heating {using a whisk to ‘stir’} until you are sure everything has dissolved.

-Remove the pan from the heat and ‘fish out’ your spent vanilla pods {I would thoroughly recommend rinsing these well under the tap before drying out on some kitchen paper – placed in a jar of sugar, these will make the most wonderful vanilla sugar for use in coffee or deserts later!}…now, take your reserved vanilla seeds, place them into the cream and whisk in lightly to disperse.

-At this point, I like to transfer the cream to a big jug…as it makes it much easier to pour into a mould. Fill each small mold {having already placed them on trays to make your trip to the fridge a little easier!} to the top and then refrigerate until gently set….they should still have some wobble! This can take anything from 3-6 hours depending on how cold your fridge is…

Note from Abigail: I have collected a variety of antique and vintage jelly molds {easily found on ebay!}…which are perfect for this and look so decorative when turned out – but the plain ones you find in cook-shops are just as good and I use those often too.

-When ready to serve, loosen around the top of each mold with a knife and then decant onto a plate with a {sometimes more than one if I am honest} sharp shake…or briefly dip each mold into a bowl of hot water to release the Panna Cotta {I don’t usually find this necessary}….

-These are wonderful with a touch of premium quality Maple Syrup drizzled over…or with a sauce made from Cointreau and caramelized sugar….but they are equally wonderful served alone or with some summer fruits…..

Savour and enjoy! xo Abigail :)

Why Abigail chose this recipe: This is my fail-safe wonder desert that I make again and again when I want to both delight and impress! It is so simple and delicious, every person you serve this to will want the recipe from you….definitely one to add to the dinner party repertoire!!

Wine Pairing (via Personal Wine Buyer): Bonny Doon Framboise Infusion of Raspberries

This is a fortified raspberry wine. No surprise that it tastes like raspberries, but not just raspberries — the essence of raspberries, huge explosions of raspberries, the Planck’s constant of raspberries– add some bit of fresh berries to the panna cotta and serve with a cordial glass of the framboise.

This is also a great option for all things chocolate (including in a chocolate shake), drizzled over cheesecake or ice cream, for a Kir Royale.

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oh my goodnesss.. it’s time for me to make flan. vanilla bean makes the biggest difference!


this is indeed a yummy desert…..try a little fresh ground cardamon in it, probably one of the best spices i know and so “undiscovered”!


I love panna cotta – and I second the suggestion about cardamon. It would be delightful.


Can you confirm the sugar? Only 1/2 tsp for the entire recipe? That would be pretty incredible if true, but judging by the picture, it’s more than that.

Looks yummy!


Hooray! I’ve been looking for a good panna cotta recipe because I was just given a bottle of rosewater. I’m going to try this and add a few drops of the rose.

Thank you! Love the little moulds you’ve used, as well.


I NEED to get some of those molds and make a chocolate w/ cocoa nib flecks and vanilla beans kanten, STAT! I don’t want to, I NEEEED to. Those pics grabbed me by the throat (read as if written w/ italics)….


Grace, so you don’t go trolling ebay too much – the Brooklyn vintage shop Go Fish! sells sets of these vintage little molds, and they have a stall at the Brooklyn Flea on Sunday – so maybe you could make panna cotta on Monday!

Abigail Percy

Hi everyone…thanks for your kind comments and suggestions :)

Yes – the sugar qty is a mistake, you want to use 2 OUNCES… my apologies.

Grams would have been incredible…but with this, you need a little more of the sweet stuff ;)

Happy w/end everyone! xo


lovely photos and a wonderful recipe. i love the vintage molds!

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