Book Reviews / Dessert

Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta


I’m sure it’s not news to any of you that most people love a milky custard, and especially a good panna cotta. I have in the past shared some recipes here, here and here.

Panna cotta is a close relation of the blancmange of France; whereas panna cotta is thickened with gelatin, blancmange typically relies on cornstarch. Pure, subtle and delicate. They vanish in front of our eyes and melt in our mouths.

This Spring, a new cookbook authored by Yossy Arefi, has just been released. She has an award-winning blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. which many of you may already enjoy.

She collaborates and writes assiduously through her popular column for Food52. Her blog has received many accolades and mentions. Now, in her new and stimulating premiere cookbook The Sweeter off the Vine, Arefi emphasizes recipes “written with peak-season fruit in mind,” transforming heirloom seasonal fruits into mouthwatering desserts to which Arefi impresses her personal style of baking.


Sweeter off the vine Book Review | Au Petit Goût


Recounting her life as a kid living in this very region –  the Pacific Northwest  – which is known for the abundance of berries growing wildly in the bushes, she remembers her parents’ lessons, teaching her to only pick the berries that slid easily from their stems. Both her parents loved to garden. Both of her parents are avid cooks.


She vows:my dad cooked just as often, mostly savory dishes from his homeland of Iran. He introduced me to the flavors of Middle Eastern cooking that have become so comforting to me as an adult.”


Her love for baking began at home at the hand of her mom, and after moving to New York from the place I call home –  Seattle  -, she envisioned transforming her home-cooking skills into professional ones, but realized upon graduating from college that taking on a heavier financial burden to attend culinary school was not the best choice at the time. She took a job at a restaurant and looked for a way into the kitchen. When a position to bake opened up, she convinced her boss that she was up for the job and could handle the kitchen; he gave her the chance.


She enjoyed the job for many years, the sweet smells of baking, sugar and rustic ovens. She remembers those years with nostalgia:I had burns all over my arms from the broken oven doors that swung closed unexpectedly…but learned how to make the best buttery pie crust and tall, frosting-covered layer cakes… I loved the work.”


The book is divided into seasons, where I found Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta in the Spring chapter. I stopped, bookmarked it, and went to my pantry to gather gelatin, chamomile flowers, honey and vanilla. The recipe optionally calls for bee pollen, which I did not have at hand. Later that day, I drove to the natural products section at a local store and found it. I was intrigued by it, as this was the first time I would use it in baking. It holds an intense and fresh scent of honey. So fresh.

Sweeter off the vine | Au Petit GoûtElizabeth Gaubeka PhotographyBee pollen |Au Petit Goût


Chamomile Infused | Au Petit Goût


I returned home to prepare the chamomile-infused cream and to finish up the recipe.

I divided the panna cottas into six ramekins and refrigerated them for over 4 hours. Once set, I photographed a few, before three found their way to our dinner table. Arefi suggests garnishing them with finely chopped pistachios, and dusting them with a few grains of gorgeous bee pollen, which I used with excitement.


If you have the time to shop for bee pollen, I can’t stress enough how special (and nutritious) it is. Just a few grains on top of each panna cotta rounds out the recipe, highlighting the excellent paring of freshly-infused chamomile flowers, clover honey and the bright yellow-orange bee pollen. Hope you enjoy them!

Until we meet again very soon!

Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta | Au Petit GoûtChamomile Honey Panna Cotta | Au Petit Goût


Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta | Au Petit Goût


Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta | Au Petit GoûtChamomile Honey Panna Cotta Story and Recipe | Au Petit Goût

The book trailer follows below.

Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta
Cook time
Total time
Credit for this recipe is Yossy Arefi from her cookbook Sweeter off the vine.
: Dessert
: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup fresh chamomile flowers, stems and leaves removed, or 2 chamomile tea bags
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
  • ¼ cup mild flavored honey, like clover or wildflower
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios, to serve
  • 2 tbsp bee pollen to serve (optional)
  1. Lightly grease six ramekins with a paper towel dipped in a bit of canola or grape seed oil. Heat the cream in a saucepan set over medium heat until just barely simmering. Add the chamomile flowers and turn off the heat and let sleep for 20 minutes.Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and reserve.
  2. Pour the milk into a clean saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top, but do not stir. let the gelatin soften until the grains look wet and like they are beginning to dissolve, about 5 minutes. After the gelatin has bloomed, warm the milk and gelatin over very low heat whisking occasionally, until the gelatin dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to le the mixture bubble or simmer, which will inhibit the gelatin's ability to set.
  3. Whisk in the honey vanilla, and salt. Add the chamomile infused cream and whisk to combine. Dive the mixture among the ramekin and chill them in the refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight. If you are going to leave them overnight, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap.
  4. To unmold the panna cottas, run a think knife around the top edge of each ramekin o release the sides, and invert it onto a plate; you may have to shake the ramekin gently to get the panna cotta to release onto the plate. Top each panna cotta with sprinkle of chopped pistachios and a dusting of bee pollen.

I have received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

© Au Petit Goût.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

8 comments on “Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta”

  1. What a beautiful post, Elizabeth, and such gorgeous photos, as always! We find great bee pollen here in northern CA, and my husband adores it, but I find it to be more of an acquired taste, if you know what I mean?? Maybe it’s because I haven’t found the right combination of flavors to go with it yet, and this chamomile panna cotta sounds like it would complement it so very well. I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the gorgeous post and sending you hugs! xoxo

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write, Nathalie! So glad to hear you liked it! I’m not surprised that in Northern California you are able to find great quality of bee pollen. What a bounty region, isn’t it? So special the place you call home. Looking forward to what you will be sharing with us next on Vanille Verte. Thank you for keeping in touch! Hugs to you! xoxo 🙂 😉

  2. Wow, the story is great. I am really excited about the pollen too. I have to look for those here now. Coming to the pictures. How do you even plan the styling. Each one of them a masterpiece. You have no idea how many times I go back and forth to enjoy them. You are a genius Elizabeth.

    1. Oh Ratna! I’m the one who is inspired by your cooking techniques and ‘savoir faire’ in the kitchen. You speak your culinary traditions in every post. I learn from you. I’m also learning a word or two of Hindi as you write your stories. Thank you so much for your warm and heartening words! Means a lot.

      I generally try to keep styling simple. Not a lot of planning or time spent goes into styling. My approach is spontaneous keeping props always within reach. I’m constantly looking at the negative space when composing a shot. I trust this answer your question, but please let me know if otherwise. Hugs! xoxo 🙂

    1. I do too, Ev. Panna cottas are the perfect dessert every time. Thanks so much for your warm words! This recipe from Y. Arefi is easy and very tasty (except for the bee pollen) all of the other ingredients I’m sure you have them in your pantry. Looking forward to your upcoming post! Keep in touch! xo 🙂

  3. Elizabeth! I love it! I find the combination of chamomile and honey intoxicating! Last year I made chamomile cheesecakes in a jar and combined them with strawberries cooked in the sun. Also wonderful combination. I have read some wonderful comments on Yossi Arefi cookbook, but your post definitely encouraged me to get it with my next order! Love the shots! Always! You are inspiring me to work harder! I will have to try another chamomile strawberry combination and will share the results soon. Have a nice Sunday. Hugs, Lilia.

    1. Thanks so much for your loyal and warm comments, Lilia! You will love this panna cotta, indeed! Thank you for your wonderful support. Means a lot. Looking forward to your next chamomile/strawberry pairing – I’ve never done it, so I’m intrigued by it. Happy week to you too. Keep in touch! xoxo 🙂

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