HomeRecipesTonka Bean Panna Cotta by Rebecca Freeman

Tonka Bean Panna Cotta by Rebecca Freeman

(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

This dessert was created for a wine dinner, for which I had no restrictions. With its smoky almond and vanilla notes, tonka bean is one of my favorite flavors. It adds wonderful warmth to desserts, and this panna cotta pairs so well with the chocolate and raspberries.

Serves 16

Tonka Bean Panna Cotta

  • 5 g gelatin sheets (silver)
  • 250 g heavy cream
  • 120 g milk
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 5 g ground tonka beans
  • 5 g vanilla bean paste
  1. Bloom gelatin in ice water.
  1. Combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, tonka bean and vanilla paste in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Wring out excess water from gelatin and add to mixture. Take mixture off heat and strain into a small bowl. Cool over an ice bath until mixture reaches 90˚F (32˚C). Pour panna cotta into silicone molds and freeze for 8 hours.
  1. Unmold and reserve.

Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse

  • 150 g dark chocolate 70%
  • 40 g egg yolks
  • 150 g egg whites
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 4g salt
  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Add yolks and combine. Take off heat.
  1. In a stand mixer, whip egg whites until foamy. Rain in sugar and salt and bring to stiff peaks
  1. Gently fold meringue into chocolate mixture. Spread over a full sheet Silpat and dehydrate for 4 hours at 140˚F (60˚C). Break into medium-sized pieces and reserve.

Raspberry Gel

  • 150 g raspberry purée
  • 50 g honey
  • 50 g water
  • 2 g agar agar
  1. Combine the purée, honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add agar agar and whisk in. Cool over ice bath.
  1. Once gel is set, add to blender and puree until smooth. Add to squeeze bottle and reserve.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 120 g water
  • 50 g glucose
  • 500 g raspberries
  • 20 g lemon juice
  1. Combine the sugar, water and glucose in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Take off heat and cool over an ice bath.
  1. Combine simple syrup with raspberries and lemon juice and purée in a blender until smooth. Push through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. Spin sorbet in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze sorbet and reserve. 

Chocolate Crumb

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 70 g egg yolks
  • 260 g all-purpose flour
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the yolks slowly. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed until just combined.
  1. Roll out dough to 1/4ʺ (0.6 cm) thick. Chill for 30 minutes.
  1. Bake dough at 350˚F (177˚C) for 10 minutes. Cool.
  1. Process in food processor to a fine crumb. Reserve.


  • Sliced raspberries
  • Nasturtium leaves
  1. Place two panna cottas on a plate, an inch apart. Place a spoonful of chocolate crumbs between the panna cottas. Arrange 3 pieces of Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse around the panna cottas. Fill in the empty spaces with piped dots of Raspberry Gel. Arrange sliced raspberries on top of the gel. Quenelle Raspberry Sorbet and place over chocolate crumb. Place nasturtium leaves on top of sliced raspberries.

About Rebecca Freeman, CEPC

Rebecca Freeman, CEPC, is the executive pastry chef at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, NM. Rebecca Freeman, CEPC, is the executive pastry chef at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She had to work hard before she succeeded. Fresh out of culinary school, she worked three jobs at once: baker in the morning, fine dining restaurant in the evening doing beautifully plated desserts, and working at a heavy metal restaurant creating her own plated dessert on her “days off.” She likes to make desserts simple and chooses the best products and ingredients to let the flavors shine.


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