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Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Cardamom Honey Bourbon Sauce

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Recipe by: Veda Sankaran
Golden Milk Panna Cotta
Photo by: Veda Sankaran

Today Veda brings us her Golden Milk Panna Cotta: A decadent yet delicate panna cotta evoking the flavors of Indian golden milk served with a non-traditional bourbon and honey sauce. 

Veda says, "The inspiration for this one is very Asheville. It came from tasting Camille Cogswell’s panna cotta at the opening festivities at 2019 Chow Chow festival, my first taste of Spicewalla’s golden milk spice blend, and my love for Asheville Bee Charmer’s tulip poplar honey. I served this dessert at my last pop up dinner and it was a crowd pleaser. It really represents my approach to cooking, which is food is a means by which we share our stories and this recipe tells of my formative trip to Italy, my Indian history, my ties to Asheville friends, and of course my love of all things bourbon!" 


Time: 30 min prep; 4 hrs-overnight refrigeration
Yield: Serves 4-6 


1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups + 2 tsp half and half
⅓ cup sugar
1 rounded tablespoon tulip poplar honey
¼-½ tsp Spicewalla Golden Milk spice blend
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin

½ cup water
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp honey
Crushed seeds of 2 cardamom pods
4 tbsp bourbon
Approximately 2 tbsp half and half

Greased ramekins
Crushed pistachios for topping (or Trader Joe’s sesame honey cashews)


1. Sprinkle a tbsp of gelatin over the 2 tsp of half and half to bloom for 5 minutes. 

2. Pour the cream and half and half in a pot to warm with the sugar. Keep the heat low, as you don’t want the cream to simmer or boil. 

3. Stir until sugar dissolves. Then add the honey (use whatever kind of honey you have on hand) and stir to dissolve. 

4. Sprinkle the Spicewalla golden milk spice and stir again. Once the sugars and spice are incorporated, take off heat and stir in the gelatin. 

5. Place back on low heat, stirring to completely dissolve the gelatin. Be careful to not overheat the cream as it will ruin the thickening power of the gelatin. 

6. Take a little bit of the cream between your fingers to test if gelatin is completely dissolved. 

7. Either use a non-stick spray or other way of greasing your ramekins. Pour the cream evenly into 4-6 ramekins depending on size. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours if serving in ramekin or overnight if loosening and inverting onto a dessert plate. 


1. Heat ½ cup water, sugar, and honey along with the crushed cardamom seeds. Boil until sugar dissolves and liquid reduces and begins to thicken. Add the bourbon and simmer some more.

2. Once it is not too watery, stir in the half and half. Add more if you desire a creamier sauce. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.


You can serve the panna cotta in the ramekins themselves or loosen and invert onto dessert plates. In order to do that, pour hot water into a large bowl. Take ramekins out of the refrigerator and loosen edges carefully with a sharp knife. Place ramekins in the hot water in 3 second intervals to loosen the bottom. Place a dessert plate over the ramekin and invert, tapping the bottom and sides. If it does not come out, repeat the above steps.

Drizzle the sauce over the panna cotta and top with crushed nuts before serving.


Recipe by:
Veda Sankaran
Jalsa By Veda LLC

Asheville bourbon cardamom desserts golden milk honey Veda Sankaran

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