A light and creamy dessert perfect for warm summer evenings.  This version has a hint of hibiscus tea and citrus which adds a unique flavor to the buttermilk based treat.  Top with an easy to make strawberry compote and impress your guests….or yourself. 

Citrus Hibiscus Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote | The Suburban Soapbox

I’ve always wanted to make Panna Cotta.  It just looks so impressive, especially when it’s turned out onto a plate and topped with berries.  It looks tricky, it looks impossible.  It’s not.  So when the recipe challenge for The Recipe Redux required “Tea” as the ingredient I thought…what the heck.  Let’s try to do this…and do it with tea. 🙂

Citrus Hibiscus Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote | The Suburban Soapbox

I won’t lie….sometimes recipe creation is tricky.  Sometimes it doesn’t go quite as I planned especially when it’s like chemistry and things need to be measured perfectly and combined just right. (I like to guestimate most of the time.) The first batch of Panna Cotta I thought was going really well….until the milk curdled when I added the tea and it looked like cottage cheese.  I went with it….I did.  I forged ahead and tried to strain it…until the curds clogged the sieve and the whole thing fell into the bowl.  I kept going, no straining and finished up my first test recipe.  (That’s why it’s a test, right?)  Everything seemed to come together and I poured the mixture into the ramekins.  HOURS later….like the next day….my dessert was still liquid.  It didn’t set up…despite me sticking my finger in it 37,000 times to see if it had gelled.  It didn’t.  Recipe Fail.

The next batch I waited for the mixture to cool before adding the tea  AND I didn’t bring the mixture to a full boil….just a slight simmer, like you’ll “see steam but not many bubbles” simmer.  This is key.  Do NOT boil.  Don’t do it.  Just don’t.

Tea Panna Cotta 5Citrus Hibiscus Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote | The Suburban Soapbox

The Strawberry Compote is three ingredients and simmers over low heat until the juices start to thicken a bit.  It’s the easiest thing you can ever make and the leftovers are great over waffles or in your morning yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Citrus Hibiscus Tea Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote

treat yourself with this perfect citrus hibiscus tea pan cotta!
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  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons strong brewed Citrus Hibiscus Tea, I used Tazo Rooibos Tea
  • 2 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest


  • In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the milk and honey. Bring the mixture to a simmer and remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and whisk in the gelatin until completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then stir in the tea and buttermilk.
  • Coat four 1/2 cup ramekins with cooking spray and evenly divide the mixture between them. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4-12 hour or until the panna cotta has set.
  • While the panna cotta is chilling, add the strawberries, sugar and lemon zest to a small saucepan. Stir the ingredients together over med-high heat crushing the berries with a fork to break them up and release some of the juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Allow the berries to come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin and turn the panna cotta out onto a plate. Top with a spoonful of berry compote and serve. (You can also serve the panna cotta in the ramekin topped with berry compote.)
Serving: 1g, Calories: 238kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 159mg, Potassium: 395mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 48g, Vitamin A: 115IU, Vitamin C: 44.4mg, Calcium: 224mg, Iron: 0.5mg