Mango & Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cottas

Mango and Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Interesting how even past 30 years old I still want mommy when I spike a fever and walk around with a box of tissues. Wondering why I never catch a 24 hour bug or never lose my appetite when sick. Sad to see my parents leave after such good times. Amusing to see the dogs go back and forth between both bedrooms looking for them. Funny how little mishaps can turn into creamy deliciousness like these Mango And Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cottas.

The morning of my parents’ departure, my father and I were up before anyone else as usual. We were reminiscing about the last few weeks spent together. We like to talk food while preparing meals. Surprise, surprise! When we were kids, my father taught us how to crack and juice a coconut, introduced us to the wonders of papaya simply sprinkled with lime juice, cooked the most fabulous Osso Bucco or rice pilaf. I guess he will be my other guest blogger when they come back!

This past Sunday morning, the conversation fell on the wonderful meal my dear friend Bina prepared the last time we visited her and her family. After taking me to the Indian market so I could stock up on my usual and new favorites, she also sent me home with a whopping big can of Alfonso mango puree. We were happily surprised to find out that it was the same kind we would scout at the exotic market when I was a kid. We kept dipping our spoons in the can while getting breakfast ready. I poured some of the puree in 4 glasses for everybody to have a taste and proceeded to make breakfast.

Mango&Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta

We decided to send them off with a hearty good old American breakfast and I decided to use the last bit of buttermilk I had to make pancakes. I went ahead and whisked buttermilk, vanilla bean seeds, sugar. I am not sure what exactly went array after that or when it did. Pressing needs of sleepy puppies, checking and re-checking and nothing had been left out of the suitcases, phone calls to and from relatives and friends,… I stood over the stove, poured some batter in the pan and turned around. Two minutes later, I heard “Aren’t pancakes similar to crepes?” …Hmmm…Yes they could be instead of the gunky burnt mess that was in the frying pan. I had forgotten the eggs and flour.

“Oh dear…I am losing my mind!”…I looked at my parents and pulled out the croissants and toasts. Not much time left to fix anything, finally get in the shower and leave for the airport. I could feel my dad travelling nerves getting sharper by the minute but I hated to waste a vanilla bean anything. Panna Cottas quickly came to mind. I bloomed some gelatin in water, froze everybody’s glass of pureed mango and heated up some cream and the vanilla infused buttermilk. Why freeze the fruit? I wanted clean layers for the fruit and panna cotta and once frozen you can easily pour your cream base without it falling straight to the bottom of the puree because of its heavier weight. It also quickens the setting process of the panna cottas but alas it was high time we left for the airport.

So here we are now, parents sound and safe in France and us with two extra Panna Cottas. I served them with little Swiss meringue cookies (same as in Floating Island but piped and baked on a sheetpan) and chopped pistachios. They are so good I wish I could share with you!

Note: I am aware of the pistachio recall here in the States and I am keeping up with the grower involved. Mine were from another farm but please check your stashes and sources.

Mango and Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Mango And Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cottas:

Serves 4

Kitchen Note: for the recipe I used one cup (250ml) of canned mango puree which I know is not available everywhere. According to the National Mango Board, you would need 2 medium sized mango to obtain one cup of puree. You can substitute with any soft fruit reduced to a puree like apricot, peach, pear, etc…

1 cup (250ml) mango puree
1 tablespoon (15gr) water
1 3/4 teaspoons (4gr) powdered gelatin
1 vanilla bean
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
1 cup (250ml) whole buttermilk

Divide the mango puree evenly among 4 glasses or ramekins.
Place the water in a small ramekin and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it bloom while you prepare the cream.
On a flat surface, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through. With a pairing knife, scrape the seeds from the pods. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds until the cream is just about to boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it is completely melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes and add the buttermilk. Let cool to room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing your saucepan over a bowl filled with ice but keep and eye on it as it will thicken faster. Once the cream is cooled, slowly pour it over the frozen fruit and let set in the fridge, at least two hours, preferably overnight.
Serve with chopped pistachios and meringue cookies if desired.





85 responses to “Mango & Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cottas”

  1. virginie Avatar

    hummm que ca à l’air bon !!! j’adore la mangue !!!

  2. Poorni Pillai Avatar
    Poorni Pillai

    Wow, they look so good! The mango season is slowly beginning here in India and pretty soon the markets will be flooded with dozens of varieties. I learn all the names each year and then forget them as the season ends….only to re-learn them again the next year. I’ll try your amazing recipe next month when the mangoes are best!

  3. Nina Timm Avatar
    Nina Timm

    You really wanted so badly to make something so special…and so you did, just a tad too late! I am sure you parents had many such wonderful memorable meals in the time spent with you!!

  4. Jen Yu Avatar
    Jen Yu

    Hello, Night Owl 🙂 What a nice surprise to read your post as I take a break from processing kitchen photos. I’m sleepy, but the sight of your beautiful panna cottas is like sunshine in the morning. I’m sorry that your parents have left, but I do hope that you all enjoyed one another’s company. That is what is important. Save the recipe for the next time you see them. The puppies must be sad to have two less sets of hands to pamper them. xxoo

  5. Elyse Avatar

    I know you must miss your parents already. It sounded like such a great visit. And your dad sounds delightful–I love that the two of your talk food. And what a fabulous mishap!! These little panne cottas look fabulous. What delicate and gorgeous treats.

  6. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul Avatar
    Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul

    I’ve always believed the best culinary creations are borne out of accidents! How delicious and creamy these look Helen. Thanks for the tips regarding layering them…might have to try and dive them a Greek touch!

  7. morgana Avatar

    Mmmmm. these must be delicious, I LOVE mango fruit, it’s one of my favorites.

  8. Rosa's Yummy Yums Avatar
    Rosa's Yummy Yums

    What a delightful combination of flavors! So delicate and refined tasting… Beautiful!



  9. Marilì from GustoShop Avatar
    Marilì from GustoShop

    Mmmmh… simply delicious…

  10. Virginia Avatar

    Helen, in your blog I always find summer!

  11. Finla Avatar

    Same here i always feel like this when i take leave from my mom too.
    I am sure going to make this pannacotta soon as i love them.

  12. Dee at Pedestrian Palate Avatar
    Dee at Pedestrian Palate

    I’ve been looking for a pannacotta recipe and this looks beautiful (as always). I like your suggestion of using peaches if mango is not available. I will probably try that.

  13. Kana Avatar

    I hope time flies and you will see them again before you know it.I have a question – I do not eat gelatin and was wondering if it can be substituted with the same amount of agar.

  14. Cannelle Et Vanille Avatar
    Cannelle Et Vanille

    i know your parents departure must have been bittersweet but you know how time flies and how you will see them again before a blink of an eye. This looks so fresh and love the Sabre spoons!

  15. Culinary Wannabe Avatar
    Culinary Wannabe

    What a happy accident! I’m glad your parents had such a wonderful visit. It’s funny how much we miss our parents. It’s always the worst right after they leave. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures, by the way.

  16. Mimmi Avatar

    I love it and thank you sooooooooooo much for writing the recipes not only using cups, but also grams and ml.!!

  17. mycookinghut Avatar

    Just pretty as usual.. I like panna cotta

  18. Aimée Avatar

    I hate goodbyes. Hope your feeling better soon, my dear.
    These colors are so lovely, certainly you made the best of a bad situation.

  19. bridget {bake at 350} Avatar
    bridget {bake at 350}

    Hope you are feeling better! I never lose my appetite when sick, either! Why IS that?!?

    Beautiful pictures as usual…and I love that little spoon! 🙂

  20. LizNoVeggieGirl Avatar

    Get well soon, dear Helen!!! **hugs**

    On a brighter note, loooove the panna cottas!!

  21. veron Avatar

    Poor Tartelette …get well soon. but this is such a lovely dessert…I absolutely love mangoes in any shape or form. glad your parents are safely back in France…i’m sure you are already missing them a lot!

  22. Dragana Avatar

    Glad your parents are home safe and sound. Don’t you love it when you create something delicious by chance? These look refreshing – perfect for Spring!

  23. Angela@spinachtiger Avatar

    You are such a kitchen genius. Good to know you make mistakes too. Loved your story about your parents. I could almost start missing them. Beautiful photos as always.

  24. Cookie baker Lynn Avatar
    Cookie baker Lynn

    It must be so difficult with your heart straddling two continents. Does your beautiful panna cotta ease the pain of parting?

  25. anna Avatar

    Those look delicious! I love mango.

  26. Bertha Avatar

    My eyes were delighted when I saw “mango” in the title of your post. I absolutely adore everything mango-y. I used Alphonso mango all the time! it is so intense and very orange color. Thank you for sharing, it’s always a great pleasure to read your blog everyday and I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  27. Paula Avatar

    Wow, that just looks like summer. I hate it when plans go pear shaped and time is of the essence. Such a pain but it looks like these turned out beautifully – and more for you!

  28. Unknown Avatar

    I’m the same way with my parents… 🙂
    as always, your desserts look delectable.

  29. Deeba PAB Avatar
    Deeba PAB

    Creative genius you are, & a beautiful one at that! Cannot wait for mangoes to arrive Helen…then catch me freezing fruit puree. Thanks for the tip…

  30. Dominique Avatar

    Comment rester indifférent devant d’aussi jolies photos? je note la recette (merci Harrap’s)et je la refais dès que possible!

  31. nadia Avatar

    Gorgeous helen! The last photo is perfection!

  32. Dave Jones Avatar
    Dave Jones

    sounds delicious….snapshots looks cool…..i love mangoes.

  33. Unknown Avatar

    Oh wow, yum….. -e

  34. Bea Avatar

    I love Panna Cotta! These sound perfect 🙂

  35. Barb Avatar

    I have a package of Goya Mango Puree in the freezer I got at the completely normal supermarket–not a Puerto Rican market or specialty store. I think it cost about $1.25 and since it’s a national brand, you should be able to find it somewhere near you in the USA. Admittedly it’s not very thick, I used one making a mango creme brulee. Might want to reduce it first.

  36. Mallory Elise Avatar
    Mallory Elise

    wow. i wish i was a member of the national mango board. now that i know one exists. hehe.

    those are the most perfectly perfect shaped meringues. chouette!

  37. Helene Avatar

    Caprice: I think there is a slight misunderstanding. I was not pushing readers to find this particular kin of mango puree. It was a gift from a friend and I wanted to put it to good use. Fresh mango or regular grocery store puree work just as good in the recipe. Alfonso mangoes are just particularly orange and flavorful.

  38. zaida Avatar

    it seems like your parents have left a big amount of light and colours with you.

    beautiful and yummy photos.

  39. Snooky doodle Avatar
    Snooky doodle

    wonderful! the flavours must be amazing 🙂

  40. Mermaid Sews Avatar
    Mermaid Sews

    Mango puree you say? Must go get me some pronto. Gorgeous photos.

  41. tara Avatar

    You are ridiculously brilliant, m’dear! These are the most lovely of mistakes.

    I do hope you are feeling better, and that your parents return journey home was a safe one.

  42. Angry Brit Avatar
    Angry Brit

    What beautiful colours! It manages to look very summery. I can’t claim a huge love of mangoes (a minor accident when making sorbet once), but I would be more than willing to try them again.

  43. Ash Avatar

    Love the colours! These look fantastic and yummy too!

  44. Irene Avatar

    Gorgeous as usual! I hope you are feeling better soon!

  45. lynda Avatar

    Too bad about the pancakes, but I’d say you more than made up for it with these luscious little treats. I am glad you enjoyed such a wonderful visit with your parents. Good-byes are so not fun.

  46. Joyce Avatar

    Helen I bet it was hard to say good bye to your parents today.
    I got a little misty eye reading how your dad taught you how to crack and juice a coconut. This is one of my many fond memories growing up with my dad. With spring around the corner I am missing him so… Thanks for the sweet memories. xoxo

  47. anadelicias Avatar

    Lovely anddeliciosu!! This pannacotta looks son nice, Helen!!
    Mango is one of my favorites fruits.


  48. unconfidential cook Avatar
    unconfidential cook

    Do you also talk about food while you’re eating? Our conversations before, during and after a meal often end up being about more food….Your panna cottas look beautiful!

  49. Patricia Scarpin Avatar
    Patricia Scarpin

    Oh, what a wonderful solution you found to the problem, sweetie! I’m sure mom and dad loved this panna cotta – mango has such a tropical feel, kind of Brazilian even!

  50. Lori Avatar

    So I am not the only one who eats when I am sick (headcold that is). I thought it was just me.

    It just so happens that I have some mango puree in the freezer. I think this needs to come to my house. I must try it. I have been wanting to make panna cotta for forever. Thank you for the great idea. That was good sharing!

  51. Anonymous Avatar

    I’ve been dreaming about this Panna Cotta for a little while now… yum!
    Too bad pistachios are recalled. Your last two posts have made me *really* crave them!

  52. Helene Avatar

    I am aware of the pistachio recall here in the States and I am keeping up with the grower involved. Mine were from another farm but please check your stashes and sources.

    Thank you everyone!

  53. Hayley Avatar

    This sounds wonderful, and so refreshing! After I made my uncle a flan, he requested panna cotta next. Thanks for the recipe!

  54. Cakebrain Avatar

    Your panna cottas are beautiful! I love the colours in your pics too…makes me think of spring

  55. cindy* Avatar

    these look so good…i have had those days (so, so many), but luckily for you (and B!) your mishap turned to good fortune! i’ve been eating fresh mangos all week, they have been cropping up at the store and i cannot resist. lovely!

  56. baked in alaska Avatar
    baked in alaska

    Yum mangos! I am truly envious of your ability to think so quickly on your feet. So fortunate for your family.

  57. ladyironchef Avatar

    wow! ever since i tried vanilla bean ice cream, i can’t eat the normal vanilla anymore. heh. mango sounds great together 🙂

  58. Christy Avatar

    Pistachio recall??!!What are those about?? They were bad or contain toxin of sorts?

    I was surprised that your father taught you to eat a papaya drizzled with lime juice, but only because that’s the way we eat it in the tropics too!! Well I thought only we knew about that little secret…And I didn’t even know how to crack and juice a coconut and I’m from Indonesia!!

    Love the idea of freezing the puree and the glass first before putting in the pannacotta! It’s one I’m going to archive in my brains for future reference.

  59. Anita Avatar

    I’m glad the mix didn’t go to waste – you are very talented!

  60. jb Avatar

    These look so good! I love the colors, especially!

  61. Marc @ NoRecipes Avatar
    Marc @ NoRecipes

    Helen, I learn something new every time I visit! The tip about freezing the fruit is great. I’ve always been relegated to putting the fruit on top. But no longer!

  62. Peabody Avatar

    I still always want my mommy when I am sick too.
    These look gorgeous.

  63. Jamie Avatar

    Beautiful and perfect AND panna cotta is my man’s favorite dessert of all times. I love having my mommy around, too and am sad when she is not here (which is almost always!).

  64. Juliana Avatar

    Such a perfect dessert! I love panna cotta…and mangoes. The pictures are so pretty! Thanks!

  65. Abby Avatar

    I’m not going to read through the comments, but I imagine I’m not the only one to say, “I covet that spoon.”

    As always – gorgeous!

  66. Philo aux fourneaux - Blog culinaire Avatar
    Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire

    La mangue étant mon fruit préféré, je te laisse deviner que je craque complétement pour cette belle recette si joliment illustrée

  67. sharon budijono Avatar
    sharon budijono

    love love love your blog and the photos as well! always awesome!!! keep up and good (and sweet) work!

  68. dessert girl Avatar
    dessert girl

    How do you get the layers to look so perfect! Is there a trick to it?

    Love the spoon!

  69. Maybe Avatar

    Love the posts about your parents and childhood ! Believe it or not, I never made or even ate a pannacotta… But thanks to you, I think it’s gonna change :o)

  70. Simones Kitchen Avatar
    Simones Kitchen

    They look fantastic. I totally love pannacotta and ever since making my first one I got hooked. Great tip too on the layering!

  71. Jaime Avatar

    love mango. i think my mom would enjoy this! beautiful plating, as always

  72. Peabody Avatar

    Beautiful as always. Your layering is gorgeous.

  73. Sunshinemom Avatar

    We have been eating alphonsos everyday since the past few weeks, and my kids just won’t allow me to use in tarts or custards or even ice creams!! I will try these when my parents come here next week – they are a little finicky about cream and things, but I guess they will like these!

    Why does good time pass just fly?? I know how the first two days must have felt when your parents went – you feel like a little home alone kid for sometime!!

  74. ChichaJo Avatar

    What a lovely visit you and your parents had!

    This looks fabulous! Something new and delicious to do with our mangoes! 🙂

  75. test it comm Avatar
    test it comm

    Nice way to enjoy some mangoes! Great photos!

  76. Anonymous Avatar

    If that does not scream Spring, then I don’t know what does!!

    Wonderful story and pictures!


  77. Alexandra and Jando Avatar
    Alexandra and Jando

    My 3y old son and I just LOVE your meringue kisses! He wants to make them too! What piping tip did you use to make such gorgeous creations? (I feel the need to challenge myself…)

  78. Helene Avatar

    Alexandra: I used a basic star tip. Mine don’t have a number (restaurant supplies) but I am sure that a medium star tip will do.

  79. Michelle Avatar

    OMG your pictures are always amazing, I can’t stop drooling!

  80. Poires au Chocolat Avatar
    Poires au Chocolat

    I’ve linked to this post in my last post about some strawberry and chocolate panna cotta shots I made, as it inspired me to use panna cotta instead of the custard I had planned… hope that’s okay!

  81. Anonymous Avatar


    I am a vegetarian, please can you suggest an alternative to gelatin in this recipe. I tried to use agar flakes but it did not set, otherwise it tasted delicious

    Many THanks

  82. Helene Avatar

    Anonymous: maybe use vegetarian gelatine which is usually available in the kosher section. You could also increase the agar agar maybe? Not familiar with it though.

  83. Evelyn Avatar

    Loved reading about your family and seeing your panna cotta. I wish I had known because I would have loved to help you eat those last two desserts! 🙂

  84. Pooja Avatar

    I stumbled upon your wonderful blog while looking for Verrines & boy! am I glad I did! I know I'll keep coming back now.

    A question….perhaps silly. Won't the frozen fruit start melting once I transfer it to the fridge with the pannacotta on top? I have all the ingredients & raring to go….

  85. Helene Avatar

    Pooja: it will become soft but it won't go anywhere since the panna cotta is on top and acts as a lid.

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