summer dessert

A Perfect Summer Dessert

Panna cotta is one of the all-time perfect summer desserts. Simple and fresh and … in the hands of the Robin Selden, Managing Partner and Executive Chef of Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning in Stamford, Connecticut … simply stunning!

panna cotta

“Our recipe for lemon panna cotta with minted berry soup is one of my all-time faves,” Selden said. “I was challenged by our client to reinvent it and add another dimension. This was for a wedding. They wanted a dessert that would captivate and truly be a sweet conclusion to a very special dinner. I created a piece of art which was multi-dimensional and had that interactive ‘wow’ experience. The bright colors and flavors of the mango gel, edible micro orchids and raspberry glass brought it to life. The minted berry soup was the perfect balance to the tangy and tart lemon panna cotta. In the end, it was almost too pretty to eat.” And yet, eat it they did, and loved it!

Here, Selden shares her recipe and method. Bon Appetit!

summer dessert

Lemon Panna Cotta
4 cups of whole milk
4 cups of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 ¼ cups of fresh lemon juice
8 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
2 cups of Greek yogurt
2 lemon rinds

• Lightly spray ¾ cup ramekins, custard cups, or silicone muffin pants with cooking oil.
• Mix milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan.
• Scrape in seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean to the milk mixture.
• Bring milk mixture to a simmer and remove from heat.
• Pour lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over it.
• Let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.
• Stir sugar and gelatin mixture into the milk mixture until sugar and gelatin. Dissolve for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Whisk in yogurt and lemon peel.
• Divide among ramekins. Cover and chill until set.
• Run a small knife around each panna cotta.
• Dip the bottoms of the ramekins, 1 at a time, in a bowl of hot water for 45 seconds.
• Place a plate on top of the ramekin and hold together.
• Invert, shaking gently, to turn out panna cotta.

summer dessert

Raspberry Glass
½ cup of isomalt
1 teaspoon raspberry extract 1 teaspoon raspberry puree

• Melt isomalt in a pan until liquefied.
• Once melted, stir in puree and extract, let simmer for about 2 minutes.
• Spoon the desired size onto a silicone mat and let sit for 5 minutes.
• Store in a cool, dry place until needed.

Mango Gel
1 cup of mango puree
¼ cup of granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of Agar

• Bring puree, agar agar, and sugar to a boil in a small pot.
• Refrigerate until cool before processing in a blender until creamy.
Minted Berry Soup
4 cups dry red wine 2 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar
4 whole star anise 4 cinnamon sticks
24 ounces fresh strawberries 12 ounces fresh raspberries 9 ounces fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh mint

• Combine the wine water, sugar, star anise, and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan.
• Add all of the berries.
• Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat
• Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the fruit is very tender, about 10 minutes.
• Cool slightly.
• Discard the star anise and cinnamon sticks and transfer the berry mixture to a blender. Puree until smooth.
• Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl.
• Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The following two tabs change content below.
Liese Gardner is a marketing and content strategist for top brands in the event industry and can be found at As a contributor to DesignDawgs, Liese generates original content and curates contributed articles from professionals in a variety of design fields.

Latest posts by Liese Gardner (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *