Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce

This Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce is a luxuriously creamy small batch dessert made with freeze-dried sweet corn and topped with a summer berry sauce and fresh fruit.  The panna cotta is very easy to make and a light and refreshing treat perfect for summer!

Close up of sweet corn panna cotta and berry sauce

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta Dessert

Now, before you make that ‘ewwww’ face because this is a dessert made with corn, I have to tell you this is one of the sweetest, and most refreshing desserts I have had.  Hopefully the name of the dessert gives you an idea of what this Sweet Corn Panna Cotta tastes like.  And if that isn’t enough, hopefully – because it is summer – you have indulged on a little sweet corn on the cob.  So you will know that sweet corn is in fact, sweet.  

And, if all that isn’t enough to tell you what this Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce tastes like, I’ll break it down:

  • Sweet – The sweet comes from the freeze-dried sweet corn and honey.
  • Buttery – It is amazing how butter lusciousness comes through when there isn’t any butter in the recipe.  Though, I suppose since cream is essentially butter in its infancy, it would make sense we get hints of butter from the cream.
  • Creamy – To expand on the creaminess of the cream, this panna cotta is silky, smooth, and creamy.  Hopefully that is enough alliteration to prove the point of the panna cotta’s texture.
  • Bright – The fresh berries and berry sauce keep this dessert perfect for summer.  Plus, we sweeten the panna cotta with honey, which I find lighter than other sweeteners.
Two servings of corn panna cotta on plates with berry sauce

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Dessert Made With Sweet Corn

I can’t say that I have had a dessert made with corn.  I have added cornmeal to certain recipes to give a bite and sweetness – like my Cherry Cornmeal Scones and Mini Apple Cider Cake.  Then there is corn bread, which I often eat with honey.  So, it makes sense to make it the full-on star of the show in a dessert.

For this recipe, I am taking the easy route when it comes to infusing the panna cotta with sweet corn flavor.  I discovered freeze-dried corn.  I had purchased it for an online baking class and never used it.  After some time lamenting ‘what the heck am I going to use freeze-dried corn for?’, I realized it could work just like other freeze-dried fruits.  Freeze-dried sweet corn has a robust sweet corn flavor, and we don’t need to use the whole bag!

Whereas, I suppose you could use a fresh cob of sweet corn, cut off the kernels – trying not to lose too much of the juices – and let the corn kernels soak in the cream to infuse it with corn flavor.  I don’t have time for that.  It is summer and there are bbq’s to attend and sunshine to soak in!  

What You Need To Make Sweet Corn Panna Cotta

Ingredients

  • Freeze-Dried Corn – You may be able to find it at your grocery, otherwise Amazon carries the brand I used.
  • Heavy Cream – I have seen recipes where you can use milk and even milk alternatives, but I have not tested them.
  • Honey – You could use any sweetener of choice.  I like the idea of honey for a lighter summer sweetener, and it won’t over-powder the sweet corn flavor.
  • Unflavored Gelatin Powder – This is what makes the panna cotta set up firm.
  • Fresh Berries – Because this would make a festive Fourth of July Dessert, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries would be great to use for the berry sauce and garnish the panna cotta.

Baking Equipment

  • Medium Heavy Duty Saucepan
  • Serving Glasses or Ramekins
A bite of panna cotta with summer berries

Tips For Making Sweet Corn Panna Cotta

  • Determine how you want to serve the panna cotta first – For reference, I’ve provided a photo in the blog post (below), as well as instructions for the two ways I have served panna cotta:
    1. Plated – This method requires the panna cotta to set up in a ramekin, or other small bowl.  The ramekin needs to be very lightly greased to aid in releasing the panna cotta from the bowl.  Once the panna cotta has set up firm, the ramekin is inverted onto a plate.  With this method, I recommend allowing the panna cotta to refrigerate overnight.
    2. In serving glasses – This method is easier in that you serve and eat the dessert straight from the glass.  You also may not need to have the panna cotta set up in the refrigerator as long.  You can check for firmness after about 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Grind the freeze dried corn into a powder – It may be tempting to just let the corn kernels sit in the cream to infuse the flavor that way.  However, I recommend grinding the freeze-dried corn into a powder because it is easier, faster, and will impart the same, if not more, corn flavor. 
  • Sweeten to taste – You can certainly add more or less honey to the panna cotta.  Keep in mind, the sweet corn provides sweetness as well.
  • Don’t over cook the panna cotta mix – The panna cotta mix does not need to be cooked into submission for it to set up.  Once you see small bubble start to form along the sides of the pan, that is good.   
  • Make sure the gelatin in melted into the panna cotta mix – It can be easy to lose sight of the gelatin once you add it to the heated cream.  I like to use a spatula or whisk to stir the mix from the bottom up to make sure there aren’t any small gelatin pieces.
  • Strain the panna cotta – I would say this is almost a must to remove any unnecessary lumps in the mix. 
  • Give the panna cotta time to set up – Per the first bullet, if you are plating the panna cotta, let it set in the fridge overnight.  If you are serving in a glass, give it at least 4 hours in the fridge.
  • Top with complimentary fruit – Fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries pair wonderfully with corn.  You could even try cherries.  The berries also add a different texture to the creamy dessert.
Panna cotta served in parfait glasses with berries

Common FAQ’s For Making Sweet Panna Cotta

Can this recipe for panna cotta be doubled?

While I have not tested it, I would say the recipe should still work if it is doubled.

Where can I find freeze-dried sweet corn?

Some groceries or specialty markets may have it. Otherwise, you can find it on Amazon.

Can I use corn on the cob instead of the freeze-dried corn?

I have not tested this. Though, you could try cutting the kernels off of a cob of sweet corn and letting the corn kernels infuse the cream. For how long, I’m not sure – I’d say at least 20 minutes. You will have to taste it to determine when it has the corn flavor you like.

Is there anything else besides gelatin that I can use to make the panna cotta firm?

I am sure that there is, but I have not tested it. Agar agar is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin that may work. Though, you will have to read the product directions on substitution.

Can I use milk, or a milk alternative, instead of the heavy cream to make the panna cotta?

I have seen recipes that use a mix of milk and cream, just milk, or even dairy-free milk. The one thing that I have seen happen with milk and dairy-free milk is that there is separation when the panna cotta sets. Almost like the water content and fat separate. Just be aware this could happen if you try an alternative.

Do I have to use honey as the sweetener, or can I use a different sweetener.

Yes! Any sweetener of choice will work. Just taste test it as you add it to get your desired level of sweetness. I like honey in this recipe because I think it complements the other flavors nicely.

How do you get the panna cotta out of the ramekin?

Greasing the ramekin, very lightly, will help with this. You can also run a sharp knife around the top edge of the panna cotta to loosen it from the bowl. Then giving the ramekin a good solid bang when you invert it onto the plate (being very careful, obviously!)

My panna cotta never set up firm – what did I do wrong?

Couple things come to mind – 1. You didn’t allow the gelatin to bloom completely. 2. The gelatin didn’t get fully melted into the mixture and was likely strained out.

How long will the panna cotta last?

Well, since there are only two servings, hopefully not long! Any leftovers should be covered and will keep refrigerated for about 3 days.

Sweet corn panna cotta served on a small plate with fresh berries

More Easy Summer Dessert Recipes

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce

This Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Sauce is a luxuriously creamy small batch dessert made with freeze-dried sweet corn and topped with a summer berry sauce and fresh fruit.  The panna cotta is very easy to make and a light and refreshing treat perfect for summer!
Prep15 mins
Chill8 hrs
Total8 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 2 Servings
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • Medium Heavy Duty Saucepan
  • 2 – Serving Glasses or 8-Ounce Ramekins

Ingredients

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta

Fresh Berry Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh berries (plus more for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta

  • You can serve the panna cotta a couple of ways. 1. Chill in a ramekin then invert the panna cotta onto a plate. 2. Chill in parfait/serving glasses and serve straight from the glasses. If using ramekins – Very lightly grease the ramekins. I like to spray with baking spray then wipe the excess with a paper towel.
  • In a blender or food processor, grind the sweet corn kernels to get 1/3 cup of corn powder. Start with 2/3 cup of the freeze dried kernels.
  • In a small prep bowl, add the water. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water, and let it bloom for about 5 minutes. It will become rubbery and firm.
  • While the gelatin is blooming – In a medium saucepan, add the cream, honey and corn powder. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan. By this time, the gelatin should be ready.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir the mixture until the gelatin melts into the cream.
  • Strain the panna cotta through a fine mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup (this makes it easier to pour into the ramekins/glasses).
  • Pour the panna cotta into your prepared serving glasses or ramekins. Chill the panna cotta, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight. If serving in the serving glasses, you can serve the panna cotta sooner. Check the panna cotta after at least 4 hours in the refrigerator to see if it has set up enough to serve.

Fresh Berry Sauce

  • In a small saucepan, add the fresh berries and honey. Note – For this recipe I chose summer blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Heat over medium heat until the honey melts and the berries start to break down. At this point, you can serve as berry compote. Or, you can add the cooked berries to a blender and puree until smooth. Then strain the puree to get a smooth berry sauce.
  • Serving the panna cotta – 1. Plating from the ramekin – Run a sharp knife around the top edge of the panna cotta to loosen it from the ramekin. Invert the ramekin onto the the plate and give it a good bang to release it. Being careful not to break the plate! 2. Straight from the serving glass – not special steps for this!
  • Top the panna cotta with berry sauce and extra fresh berries and Enjoy!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
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