Cereal Milk Panna Cotta-Troubleshooting (Or My Misadventures in Baking)


February 8, 2013 by cookingtofeel


I decided to dive into my newly purchased Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi. I admire Christina’s twist on classic Americana desserts and I was so excited to try out the first dessert in the book, cereal milk panna cotta, just in time for the classic American Super Bowl.

Now, I’ve made panna cotta twice before. My first one, a coconut panna cotta with a strawberry and blueberry compote topping, was PERFECT. And this gave me confidence to proceed later on with a more complicated dessert, formage blanc panna cotta with crisp almond phyllo. The panna cotta part of this dessert was okay, but a tad bit runny. So, after flipping through the pages of Milk Bar, I said to myself “Maddie, just go for the panna cotta. I mean, your first time was perfect! Who cares if you have homework? Who cares if you baked a focaccia the other day? Who cares how finicky gelatin can be? You can do it!”

Well, I’m now wishing I had tried a different recipe, one up my not-really-Italian-baking alley. The cereal milk part of the recipe was super simple and came out really great. The cornflake crunch topping also turned out tasty, and I can’t stop snacking on it. The real problem was the panna cotta itself.

I did everything right, except after 2 hours (out of 3), the panna cotta was still milk. At this point, I was ready to cry (except not really) (except maybe). What do I do?!?

I thought that my only chance at salvaging this panna cotta would be to pour the liquified panna cotta back into a saucepan, heat it, bloom a little bit more gelatin, and whisk that in, since I didn’t have enough cereal milk left over to make another batch. After pouring my mixture into the pan from the glasses, I realized my mistake: I didn’t heat the milk enough to dissolve the gelatin in it. Well, I sure made sure to dissolve the gelatin this time around.


It worked! While the panna cotta wasn’t quite as firm as I would have liked it to be, it was definitely a panna cotta. I topped the panna cotta with some cornflake crunch, adding some texture.

While the panna cotta’s texture was good, the taste isn’t quite for me. It was a tad too sweet for me and it needed some acid to cut the fat. I would have added less sugar (left out most or all of the light brown sugar added in the panna cotta stage) and I would have served it with some fruit along with the cornflake crunch.

While it wasn’t my cup of tea, I still had fun figuring out how to fix my mistake and making something crazy and innovative. Keep baking!



One thought on “Cereal Milk Panna Cotta-Troubleshooting (Or My Misadventures in Baking)

  1. I had the same issue as you! I used powdered gelatin go around in this recipe as well as the banana cream pie. Both came out too loose. I found out from a friend of mine that’s a professional pastry chef that the substitution in the book was off.

    I double checked online. The conversion in the book appears to be incorrect. Per my research online. 1 sheet silver gelatin equals 1tsp. Knox powdered. So, for this recipe 1.5 tsp. not the 3/4 tsp. listed.

    I made the same recipe with sheet instead of powdered to make sure that Ms. Tosi’s intent was not a soft set panna cotta. It wasn’t.

    Hope this is helpful for your future baking adventures!

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