Aniseed Panna Cotta on a Papaya Bed with Star Anise Jelly

This recipe is a festive take on the classic Italian dessert – Panna Cotta. The creamy texture of the Panna Cotta is complemented by the fruity sweetness of the papaya and the subtle spiciness from star anise jelly.


  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 large papaya, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and 1 tablespoon of water. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, sugar and remaining 3 tablespoons of water to a simmer. Whisk in the softened gelatin until it has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the star anise.
  3. Pour the mixture into 4 small ramekins or molds. Place them in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, carefully turn out each panna cotta onto a plate and top with a layer of papaya rounds.
  5. To make the star anise jelly: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and add 1 teaspoon of ground star anise. Simmer for 5 minutes then strain out the spices.
  6. Let cool slightly before spooning over each panna cotta.

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