Love and Olive Oil

Cherry, Hibiscus, and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

Cherry, Hibiscus, and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

In an ongoing effort to put goat cheese and hibiscus in just about everything…

Today I’m guest posting over on DESIGNLOVEFEST, sharing this stunning and unique panna cotta recipe.

Panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts; literally meaning ‘cooked cream’ in Italian, the combination of the creamy milk custard and tangy fruit topping make for an impressive dessert. Not to mention easy to put together, considering it’s little more than milk jello (basically). This version incorporates a goat cheese base, creamy and lightly scented with vanilla, with a rustic jam topping made with sweet bing cherries and dried hibiscus flowers.

Don’t let the goat cheese throw you, there’s no question that this is dessert, through and through. It’s not overly pungent; instead, the cheese provides the slightest bit of tang and a unique, creamy texture to an otherwise plain vanilla base.

Cherry, Hibiscus, and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

The topping is what takes this over the top. Loosely based on my strawberry hibiscus jam from a few weeks back, the rustic preserve is studded with sweet bing cherries and infused with fragrant hibiscus. It’s looser than your typical jam, rustic and chunky and sweet, with an exotic fruity flavor that is nothing short of intriguing.

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Cherry, Hibiscus, and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

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For panna cotta:

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) soft goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 7 ounces fresh cherries (about 18), pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water and let sit for 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Heat half-and-half and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese, whisking until smooth. Stir in softened gelatin and vanilla extract until completely incorporated.
  3. Divide among 4 (6-ounce) or 6 (4-ounce) jars or ramekins. Arrange on a tray and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.
  4. Meanwhile, to prepare topping, pour 1/2 cup boiling water over hibiscus flowers. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain, discarding flowers.
  5. Combine hibiscus liquid, cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until reduced by about half, about 15 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Transfer to a heat proof container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, spoon topping over set custards.
All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Looks yummy, will totally have to give this a try.

  2. Oh goodness, what an indulgence! I need this in my life ASAP, I love it :)


  4. The Goat cheese with cherry is really so nice. I like this cherry so so much. I am really like this.

  5. OMG, so beautiful! I will eat anything with goat cheese, but I never would have thought to put it in a panna cotta. Brilliant! And the topping sounds incredible.

  6. What an amazing combination of flavors. Cherries are at their peak, here in Washington, and I must try this, XOXO

  7. I love goats cheese and this looks amazing! I need to now get some pretty glasses to serve it in!

  8. Where do you find your hibiscus flowers? This looks so yummy.

  9. they look amazing! I will drop over to DESIGNLOVEFEST to get the recipe ;)

  10. One of my favorite desserts, can’t wait to try this recipe. Your pictures always look so amazing too; hopefully I’ll figure it out someday!

  11. Lindsay, I have never made panna cotta, but your easy recipe and beautiful photos certainly make me what to give them a try. Lovely deliciousness.

  12. Oh wow im drooling! Looks amazing.. cant wait to try it out for myself :) Thanks for sharing!

  13. YUM. Just yum.

  14. I’ve really struggled to get panna cotta right in the past. This one looks so delicious and I also love the combination of goats cheese and hibiscus, so I’ll definitely be giving it a try!

  15. Such a gorgeous photograph! I’ve really got to improve my food photography, you’re are always so beautiful. And that’s one beautiful pot of panna cotta I’d quite happily eat :-)

  16. Just lovely, Lindsay! Such a fabulous twist on Panna Cotta and I am just drooling over your beautiful food styling and photography! Love those cute little Weck jelly jars. xo

  17. I’m totally on board with putting goat cheese in everything! This looks so good!

  18. WOW…this looks stunning and sounds amazing! I love Panna Cotta. Any time I’m in Italy, I get it after nearly every meal because I find it so fascinating how it can be prepared so differently everywhere you go. So, let’s just say, I’ve eaten a lot of Pana Cota! This sounds like a fabulous combo; the cherry (one of my favorite fruits) and the goat cheese really puts it over the top. Bravo!

  19. The cherry topping looks stunning! I haven’t tried hibiscus yet but you almost have me convinced to try it :)

  20. I ordered panna cotta at a restaurant and it was horrible, But these look so good, maybe I should give it another chance.

  21. I love all panna cotta! I have to try this :)

  22. Looks yummy and of course beautiful photos, as always. But I neeed to know – what font is that on the first photo please?

  23. What a brilliant spin on panna cotta and a scrumptious cherry topping. Great recipe!

  24. They look so beautiful!

  25. These are almost to pretty to eat…ALMOST!

  26. I saw your post earlier in a day :) As I wrote over there, panna cotta is always a good idea :)

  27. This looks absolutely delicious, and the flavor profile is out of this world. I must say your photographs are absolutely amazing and appetizing. Yummy!

  28. I need to try making panna cotta! Looks amazing

  29. Going over right now for the recipe. Love goat cheese, cherries, and hibiscus. This looks delicious!

  30. I am heading over for the recipe because goat cheese panna cotta must happen!

  31. Wow this is beautiful Lindsay!

  32. Genius! And those jars are perfect props :)

  33. This looks like the quintessential summery dessert — so creamy and refreshing! Gotta love anything with fresh cherries in it, after all!

  34. My husband is from Italy and in the 7 years we have been together I have yet to make him panna cotta! This looks so good it makes me want to go out immediately and make it for him !

  35. Oh, beautiful! And the flavor combination sounds absolutely delicious.

  36. Wow, this is so pretty!

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