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Tonka Bean panna cotta, amaretto jelly and some other stuff.

I had a spate of going dessert mad last year. I felt my culinary dessert bank was a little weak. In one week we had my oeufs a la niege, a chocolate fondant with peanut butter ice cream. It was a very tasty week. Not convinced my insides or teeth were too happy though.

I picked this dessert as it had a combination of many different elements I wanted to make. A panna cotta, a jelly, chocolate mousse, chocolate soil and a tuile. It is all straight forward, but there’s a lot to sort out.

The kitchen is getting there too. Hopefully two weeks max and I’ll be able to start cooking again. If nothing else an end to the dust!!

Kitchen Progress

This recipe is long. Feel free to steal any parts to it you like. If nothing else try the tonka bean panna cotta. Especially if you can get hold of these in the US as they are banned. Simply because if you eat a tree full you will die. I can imagine I’d die if ate a tree full of bananas too, but they aren’t banned.

Tonka Bean Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

  • 350ml Cream
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tonka bean, grated
  • 1 Gelatine Leaf

Amaretto Jelly

  • 100ml Amaretto
  • 1 Gelatine leaf
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 25g Caster Sugar

Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 7 Egg whites
  • 170g Dark Chocolate
  • 40g Sugar

Chocolate Soil

  • 25g sugar
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 15g flour
  • 12.5g cocoa powder
  • 17.5g butter

Almond Tuile

  • 150g Sugar
  • 50g Almonds


  1. Panna Cotta, soak gelatine for 10 minutes in cold water. Bring the cream, sugar and tonka beans to the boil. Squeeze excess water out of gelatine and add to the cream. Pass through a sieve into individual bowls and leave to set in the fridge.
  2. Amaretto jelly, do the same again to the gelatine whilst warming the amaretto, sugar and lemon juice. Now add the gelatine and put in a container to set. Cut into cubes when set.
  3. Mousse. Melt the chocolate over simmering water in a glass bowl. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks, slowly add sugar and continue to stiff peaks. Now add a third to the chocolate, stir in well to loosen the mix. Then add the remainder and carefully fold in.
  4. Chocolate soil. Melt the butter, add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then pour over the melted butter. Mix well, spread evenly on a baking tray and cook for 25minutes at 140°c.
  5. Finally for the tuile. Caramelise the sugar until golden brown. Add the nuts and cook until they colour. Pour out onto a silpat mat. Blitz in a food processor then make sheets. Bake for 6 minutes in a 160°c oven.

Once you’ve made all of this you be glad to hear that plating is more a matter of piling and you can tuck to a world of textures and flavours. Enjoy.


  1. Lovely combination of flavours, Dave. Where’d you get your tonka beans? I don’t think I’ve seen any in my part of the world. Your kitchen looks as though it’s going to be amazing, btw! Linda x

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Linda, sous You will not thank me for telling you this. You’ll have no money left at the end of the weekend.

  2. what is in the foreground that looks like orange or pineapple. I see all the other items identified but not the one in front. There are two or three of them together.

  3. Tonka beans are banned in the US? I wonder if it’s the same in Canada? This dessert looks restaurant worthy, the combo of flavours sound amazing Dave. How many servings is this recipe? I love a recipe like this, I usually spread out the labour over a few days so I’m not in the kitchen for twelve hours straight!
    Your kitchen looks wonderful, I love that enormous window, do they open? You need a gorgeous fruit or flowering tree in your yard! The cooking class we took in Lyon, had an enormous fig tree with a twenty foot canopy, it was covered in figs. Your climate might be ok for figs (sadly, ours is too cold so my fig is in a pot and lives through winter in the garage, the hybrid has a small heater which keeps the garage above freezing all winter long!).
    I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen, you must be bursting with excitement!

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Eva, it serves 4. If you’re good at pastry it doesn’t actually take too long. Apart from washing all the dishes in between.

      I’m sure tonka beans won’t be banded in Canada, you’re all too normal for that.

      Getting very excited about the kitchen. It’s here now, but will take about two week to get it and the utility installed.

      The doors definitely open. That was the number one priority. Don’t even need heating in there anymore its so hot!

  4. I think I’ll have a go at the Amaretto jelly. As to the tonka beans, yes our government does seem to try to protect us from ourselves. I can eat all the wonderful soft cheeses I want while I’m in Europe but I can’t bring them back to the US because they are made with unpasteurized milk. 😀 Hope you will be out of the dust and back into your kitchen soon.

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