Recipe: Ben's Panna Cotta with Orange Granita

13 Jul 2023


Panna cottas are one of the most versatile desserts out there, and thankfully easy to make! This version uses creamy tangy yoghurt and is paired a bright and citrusy orange granita. If you’ve never had pineapple sage before, don’t fret. It doesn’t taste anything like regular sage, it just looks like it! It has an herbal candied pineapple flavour and brilliant aroma. If you can’t find any, I’ve included some suggestions to use instead.  

Like most simple Italian desserts, this one really relies on the quality of the ingredients you use. Buying organic locally grown oranges, and the best quality milk and yoghurt will give you a far better result!


Yoghurt Panna Cotta

  •  225g full cream milk
  • 45g sugar
  • 2 ½ platinum strength gelatine sheets
  • 225g sugar-free pot-set yoghurt

Orange Granita

  • 200g freshly squeezed, pulp-free orange juice (around 3-4 oranges)
  • 60g water
  • 30g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid 


  • 25 young pineapple sage leaves (if you can’t source pineapple sage, you could use young mint leaves, lemon balm, young basil leaves, lemon verbena, lemon thyme, tarragon or edible flower petals) 


1️⃣     Start with the orange granita, either around 5 hours before you need it or the night before. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat then add the orange juice and citric acid, then stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into a container that is small enough for the granita liquid to form a thin layer. Place the container in the freezer and let it start to freeze for about an hour.  

2️⃣     After one hour, remove the container from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the partially frozen mixture, breaking up any ice crystals that have formed.
Scrape from the edges towards the centre. Repeat the scraping process every 30 minutes for about 2-3 hours. Once the granita has a nice, fluffy frozen texture, it's ready to serve. You can let the granita re-set in the freezer and scrape it with a fork again when you're ready to serve. I like to make the granita the night before. 

3️⃣     While the granita freezes, start on the yoghurt panna cottas. You can also prepare these the night before.
Fill a bowl that will fit the gelatine sheets with room temperature water. Place the gelatine sheets into the bowl and allow them to soften until needed, about 5 minutes or so. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Heat the mixture on medium heat until it is just under the boiling point. Squeeze any excess water out of the gelatine sheets, then add them to the cream and sugar mixture. Whisk well to combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat, then whisk in the yoghurt until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into 5 moulds or bowls and allow it to set in the refrigerator for about 1.5 hours or until firm. If you prefer not to unmould the panna cottas, you can set them directly in bowls.

Around an hour or so before you’re ready to serve, take the panna cottas out of the fridge. They’re best served cold, but not at room temperature.  

5️⃣     To serve, firstly, unmould the panna cottas.
Fill a bowl deep enough to fit the entire moulds with hot water. Dip each panna cotta into the water for about 5 seconds. Carefully run a thin butter knife down to the bottom of one side of the mould. Flip the mould onto the desired place on the plate and lift to release the panna cotta. If the panna cotta doesn't release, quickly place it back into the hot water and try again. 

6️⃣      Once all the panna cottas are unmoulded, pile the orange granita on one side of the plate.
Garnish each plate with 5 young pineapple sage leaves on top of the granita and serve! 


Download the FULL recipe below to cook at your Longest Table.