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Honey Panna Cotta and Raspberry Terrine

Right around mid December, I had that feeling something somewhere was not right but I could not really put my finger on it. Something was missing every time I’d turn on the computer but I could say what. The filling lasted a few days more when suddenly it hit me, "WTSIM…" was missing! Peeps, that’s bad when your body has become so trained to certain cycles that it knows when something is out of place. And that’s even worse when it is in your "other" life, your blogging life that is. Unless they ask us to make stew or barbecue I am always there to go play with Johanna, Jeanne and Andrew. January’s theme is "Terrine" and as I was reading Johanna’s directions I almost sighed in disappointment when she said that sweet terrines were welcome. Oh good! Now what?!!

I thought about steamed puddings in terrine molds and about nice layered fruit gelatin layers. The former seemed a little heavier than I wanted to bring to our weekly gathering with the neighbors and the latter was going to be received as this weird jello-type dish no matter how sophisticated the layering and fruits would be. I was in the mood for layers of cream and fruits and decided to pair them with a light genoise and assemble the terrine that way. I got lucky at the farmers' market that Saturday and came home with some very ripe and fresh raspberries and homemade yogurt, thick and wholesome.

The yogurt is the base for a light and creamy panna cotta flavored with honey. I was inspired by a recipe from The Sweet Life by Kate Zucherman. I was intrigued by this recipe as the other element is a egg white custard. Like most of us out there I am used to egg yolks based custard so this was an interesting play on a basic. I have to say that on its own, it is very eggy tasting…not something I would want to eat by the spoonful like creme anglaise. However, once mixed in with the yogurt and honey, the strong egg flavor disappear completely and one is left with a very silky panna cotta. Something I can eat by the spoonful!!

The genoise is the same used in the December Daring Bakers' challenge as the cake is moist and fluffy and works perfectly cut up in log strips to layer the cream and the fruit. My little play on the cake is that I brushed each layer with some Saint Germain Elderflower liqueur that my sweet friend Anita sent me a few weeks ago. It took the whole terrine from "excellent" to "awesome". I have to hide the bottle from myself because it is truly addictive! You can skip the alcohol part or substitute with Kirsch or white rum. Feel free to use something else than raspberries like strawberries, peaches, etc…

Honey Panna Cotta and Raspberry Terrine:

For the Genoise (recipe from the Yule Log Daring Baker Challenge):

Note you will only need about half the sheet pan. I wrap the leftover really well and freeze it for other uses (layered cake and mousse or instant cake Napoleons, etc…)

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

¾ cup of sugar

½ cup cake flour

¼ cup cornstarch
one (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger – it should be warm to the touch).
Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.
While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.
Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake does not over bake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.
Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack. Remove the cake from the baking sheet and invert it on a larger piece of parchment paper. Peel of the parchment paper that was lining the baking sheet. For the Panna Cotta (start the day before) (adapted from Kate Zuckerman)
16 oz plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tb honey
1/2 Tb unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites

8 to 24 hours ahead of time: line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth or coffee filter and place it over a bowl so that it is suspended. Scrape the yogurt in the lined strainer and let it drain, refrigerated.
After 8-24 hours (I strain mine overnight), combine the yogurt, sour cream and honey. Whisk well and set aside at room temperature.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1 1/2 Tb water and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
Make the egg white custard: In a small saucepan, heat up the milk, cream and 2 Tb of the sugar, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is almost boiling.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Slowly whisk in some of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Add the remaining milk, whisk well, and pour the whole thing back into the pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens like for a regular egg custard (should coat the back of a spoon).
Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin. Stir well until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Strain the custard through a sieve if necessary. Let cool to room temperature. You can speed up this process by putting your bowl over an ice bath. Once the custard is cooled, stir in the yogurt mixture. Set aside a room temperature until ready to use. Remaining ingredients:

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries.

1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1-2 Tb sugar.

To assemble:

Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap, making sure that it extends over the edges of the pan as it will give you a better grip when you unmold it. Cut one strip of genoise the same width as the bottom of your terrine. Mine gets wider as you reach the rim of the mold so my pieces are going to get a little wider each time.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the honey panna cotta on top of the cake layer, carefully place raspberries the whole length of the mold, right on top of the panna cotta. Cover with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Cut another piece of the cake and repeat with the panna cotta and raspberries. Repeat the process until you reach the top. Make sure that your last layer ends with a piece of cake as it will be your base when you unmold the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days before serving. To serve:

Remove the terrine from the refrigerator as well as the plastic wrap on top. Invert the pan onto a serving plate and peel of the plastic wrap that was lining the inside of the mold. Cover the cake with the whipped cream and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

To make strips: cut out strips of paper the width you desire and lay them on top of the terrine while you spread the whipped cream. Go slow and steady or you will move them at the same time. Peel the strips off and voila!

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Annemarie January 22, 2008 um 10:19 pm

Elderflower liquor – what a stroke (brush?) of genius. The terrine must almost smell like spring is around the corner. May I have a slice, please?

Anonymous January 22, 2008 um 10:35 pm

How absolutely lovely! La framboise est un péché mignon, tout comme le yaourt et le miel.

MyKitchenInHalfCups January 22, 2008 um 10:56 pm

Goodness that is just so beautifully delicate. I’m sure I could eat the entire log if only nobody was watching!

JEP January 22, 2008 um 11:22 pm

Now that is one beautiful dessert!! Reading the ingredients assures me it would taste superb!

Gretchen Noelle January 22, 2008 um 11:46 pm

That looks beautiful. I am waiting for my sweet terrine to firm up. Hope it comes out half as good as yours.

kellypea January 23, 2008 um 1:18 am

Mmm…this is beeyouteeful, Helene! I was going to try and pull this one off, but my head has been in a hole. Sigh. And I do what you mean about being "off." I haven’t been here in a while and was just thinking of you!

Peabody January 23, 2008 um 1:36 am

It’s gorgeous. And so nice of your friend to send you Elderflower liqour…I have never even heard of that. Now I will be on the look out for it.

Tablebread January 23, 2008 um 1:36 am

Looks amazing! And bravo for working in your DB recipes 🙂

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 23, 2008 um 1:37 am

That is really a work of art — far too pretty to eat!

Suganya January 23, 2008 um 1:53 am

Panna cotta with berries is a lovely combo. I remember a recipe from Vegetarian Times for Lemon panna cotta studded with black berries. Yours looks just like it was in the magazine. I just couldn’t bring myself to cook and post a terrine. Almond is what I had on my mind 🙁

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 1:58 am

Oh my! That is beautiful….and totally making my mouth water!!

Aimée January 23, 2008 um 2:06 am

This looks good enough for fairies to eat. Dainty, pretty and light. Really stunning, Helen!

Chris January 23, 2008 um 2:31 am

Stunning! After all the heavy winter desserts I have been making, seeing, reading about…this is like a breath of fresh air! Bring on Spring! 🙂

daphne January 23, 2008 um 2:37 am

how pretty! that’s a great looking dessert-i love the layers!

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 2:39 am

looks delicious!

Jade January 23, 2008 um 3:32 am

I just had to leave a comment – this looks so gorgeous! It must taste delicious.

Manggy January 23, 2008 um 3:52 am

That is just awesome! Cake and gelatin desserts can be weird if done haphazardly but this just works beautifully. I want a taste! Wish we had raspberries here, though… sigh.

Sha January 23, 2008 um 6:20 am

What a wonderful terrine! Raspberry & honey… I can’t resist!

Meeta K. Wolff January 23, 2008 um 7:14 am

You are a genius! This is an exquisite looking Dessert!

Susan @ SGCC January 23, 2008 um 7:16 am

As usual, another beautiful and elegant dessert! I wanted to participate in WTSIM this month, but it wasn’t in the cards. Husband and child both down with stomach flu. Ugh! Not very conducive to baking. Oh well, I’ll just enjoy your terrine instead.

Rosa's Yummy Yums January 23, 2008 um 7:16 am

I’ve always loved fresh and fruity desserts… Your terrine looks amazing, refined and really delicious!



Gattina Cheung January 23, 2008 um 8:00 am

this exquisite panna cotta and your unique way to frost the terrine make this dessert shine! Helene, thanks for reminding me your donut event. I’ll try to think if I have any other recipes other than the honey balls, just want to make something special specially for your event! 🙂 🙂

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 9:29 am

Exiciting flavour combination! And very pretty looking too, love the the very pink raspberries.

Anita (Married… with dinner) January 23, 2008 um 11:13 am

oh! what a fabulous use of the St-Germain liqueur… and so beautiful, as always.

Jeanne January 23, 2008 um 11:14 am

Oh how truly lovely!! The raspberry/white combination is aloways a winner, and I can only imagine how wonderful this would taste! Thanks for takign part 🙂

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 11:29 am

That looks delightful! I must really think about a terrine to put together for this event..

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 11:49 am

That panna cotta looks amazing.. I would give a lot for a piece of it right now!

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 12:32 pm

That’s a love piece of cake!

thepassionatecook January 23, 2008 um 2:39 pm

what a brilliant terrine! i love this combination of flavours and it looks just stunning, too! i bet the panna cotta tastes so much lighter using sour cream and yoghurt – a perfect summery dessert. thanks so much for participating!

Cookie baker Lynn January 23, 2008 um 2:46 pm

Your kitchen artistry never fails to amaze me. Just gorgeous! I especially love the stripes on top. Thanks for passing along how to do that.

Katy January 23, 2008 um 3:17 pm

absolutely stunning. btw, have you always had the calendar of blog events on your sidebar? it’s really helpful!

Eva P. January 23, 2008 um 3:51 pm

Nice-looking cake! I have some questions (probably due to my bad English):
1) Do you beat the egg whites really up into a thick mass or just mix them with sugar?
2) Do you leave the yogurt into the fridge (not deep freezer?) overnight? What is the reason for that?
3) How come you get so thick cream if you use only so few gelatine?

Helene January 23, 2008 um 4:25 pm

Eva: just beat the egg whites with the sugar until well combined, no need to make them "whipped" as it is not a meringue. You drain the yogurt in the colander overnight and for food safety reasons it is preferable to store it in the fridge, otherwise it could go sour and bad. The deep freezer would well, freeze it, you are draining it to make it thick. If you drain it only for a couple of hours, it is ok to leave it overnight.
Panna cottas are not jello-type desserts, meaning they should have enough gelatin to hold themselves and not too much to make it firm. The quantities here were perfect to make it able to cut through without is falling apart and at the same time just enough to have a soft consistency.

Eva P. January 23, 2008 um 5:09 pm

Thank you!

Ben January 23, 2008 um 6:35 pm

Wow! It looks delicious. The colors on it are enough to make it a winner in my list. Yummy

Anonymous January 23, 2008 um 9:47 pm

No steamed pudding. No fruit jelly. This is the best comprimise ever, Helen.

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home January 23, 2008 um 11:35 pm

what a lovely & delicious looking dessert!

Mary January 24, 2008 um 12:26 am

What a beautiful terrine! It just looks so light and delicious!

Jenny January 24, 2008 um 1:31 am

How very pretty and summery! A lovely, summery dessert.

Chez Us January 24, 2008 um 2:25 am

I had wanted to do this event but when I saw the word Terrine, I thought of those horrible veggie ones we were served during the holidays – did not even think of a nice sweet one! Yours looks fantastic and St. Germain, just love that name and have been looking for some out in rainy and cold San Francisco, thought it would warm us up!

Barbara January 24, 2008 um 2:30 am

It looks delicous Helene.

Alisa January 24, 2008 um 4:51 am

Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen such a picture perfect dessert!

Anonymous January 24, 2008 um 5:19 am

This is a thing of beauty! So pure.
J’aime beaucoup…que dis-je.. J’adore!! Une merveille!

Big Boys Oven January 24, 2008 um 4:42 pm

oh those look so cute and charming!

rhid January 24, 2008 um 7:36 pm

I have to say I have been a closet Tartelette fan for a long time. I think your blog is such an inspiration!

monica January 25, 2008 um 1:24 am

it’s beautiful! i love the hidden raspberries. and yogurt in any dessert form is pure heaven for me!

Renee January 25, 2008 um 2:41 am

It’s so pretty! And your elderflower liquor sounds really exciting…not even sure what an elderflower is!

Cakebrain January 25, 2008 um 5:21 am

Hey Helene,
You never fail to amaze me with your pastry-chef-guru ways. You definitely have a creative streak and this terrine is a work of art!

Evelin January 25, 2008 um 1:16 pm

panna cotta with egg whites – it’s the first time I see something like this! but it’s also something I’d really like to try. especially when flavoured with honey:)

I also made a terrine for WTSIM. Well, it was a success, but not a great success, so no participating this time…things happen:D

Anonymous January 25, 2008 um 6:53 pm


I love your blog and I am also an owner of Kate Zuckerman’s The Sweet Life. If you have the time I am much interested in what you consider when adapting ingredients and ratios in recipes.

The terrine looks lovely!

Cynthia January 25, 2008 um 7:56 pm

There are times when I wish I lived next door to you and then I think that over and say maybe not because I would not be able to control myself. This blog is best described as: TEMPTATION

Anonymous January 26, 2008 um 4:06 am

So many blogging events, so little time. I keep forgetting about this one.
What a beautiful entry!

Jaime January 26, 2008 um 6:08 pm

such a beautiful creation! i’m envious not only of your baking skills, but of your decorating skills as well! please pass me a slice…. 🙂

Unknown January 31, 2008 um 6:32 am

what a lovely terrine!!

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