Tag Archives: tonka bean

Tonka bean panna cottas with pomegranate jelly and baklava pieces

tonka bean panna cotta with pomegranate 2

To anyone who knows me now, they might be shocked to learn that when I was a child, I didn’t really like desserts. My parents grew up in the post-war era and rationing was part of the way of life. Apart from being terribly thrifty (mum’s go-to dessert was a sheet of puff pastry smeared with jam, then baked), their tastes for food were typical British-Irish, that is to say – not very adventurous. We grew up in the country where there were two sorts of eating out: the pub and the Chinese restaurant (I now know that ‘chow mein’ is not really that authentic!).  Continue reading


Tonka bean panna cotta with raspberry jelly, white chocolate sauce and caramelised pecans

tonka bean panna cotta1

It’s hard to describe the taste of tonka beans. The smell of the beans is reminiscent of sweet marzipan with something else…. One article referred to them as vanilla on steroids, and being a big fan of vanilla, I knew I had to try some. They are a baking little secret and have a distinct, wonderful and unforgettable flavour. Tonka beans take the humble panna cotta to a new level, and combined with a rich and slightly tart raspberry jelly: dessert heaven. I used caramelised pecans for texture and given I made the panna cotta with Greek yoghurt, I served it with a white chocolate sauce for some extra creamy sweetness. I don’t think the white chocolate is strictly necessary, as the tonka bean-flavoured panna cotta is sweet enough by itself.  Continue reading