Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes

Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes
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About This Recipe

On a recent trip through the lush citrus groves and fragrant flower gardens of Napa Valley, I was inspired to create a dessert that would celebrate the flavors and aromas of our beautiful wine country. The result is this Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes, a delicate and refreshing dessert that perfectly captures the essence of Napa Valley.

My visit to a local farmers' market introduced me to the region's abundance of citrus, including the gorgeous blood oranges. Their vibrant color and unique flavor made them the perfect addition to the panna cotta. To further highlight the natural bounty of Napa, I infused the panna cotta with aromatic cardamom and floral orange blossom water. These ingredients work together to create an elegant and sophisticated dessert that's sure to impress your guests.

For a complete Napa Valley-inspired meal, consider serving a farm-to-table salad with fresh, seasonal produce and a light vinaigrette, followed by a main course of herb-crusted rack of lamb with a side of roasted root vegetables. These dishes will pair beautifully with the panna cotta and create a cohesive dining experience.

When it comes to sourcing the ingredients for this dessert, the Napa Valley offers a wealth of local markets and specialty stores. For fresh citrus, head to the St. Helena Farmers' Market, where you'll find a stunning variety of seasonal fruits. To find the highest quality cardamom and orange blossom water, visit the Oakville Grocery, a beloved institution that has been serving the community since 1881.

As for wine pairings, a Napa Valley Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc would complement the citrus notes in the panna cotta, while its sweetness balances the dessert's flavors. Alternatively, you might consider a Napa Valley Moscato, whose floral and fruity profile pairs beautifully with the cardamom and orange blossom. For a more intimate and personalized wine experience, I recommend visiting two wineries with contrasting styles and sizes: the well-known Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, and the boutique Arkenstone Vineyards on Howell Mountain. Both offer exceptional dessert wines that will enhance your panna cotta experience.

As you enjoy your Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes, take a moment to appreciate the bounty of the Napa Valley and the rich history that has shaped its culinary landscape. From the early days of the wine industry to the farm-to-table movement, this region has always been a haven for food and wine lovers alike.

So whether you're a local, a visitor, or simply a home chef looking to recreate the flavors of Napa Valley in your own kitchen, this dessert will transport you to the heart of California's wine country. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Cardamom Seeds

Cardamom is a true culinary gem. Often referred to as the "Queen of Spices," its aromatic nature and slightly citrusy flavor make it a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. Native to the East, cardamom has found its way into cuisines worldwide. When combined with orange blossom water and blood orange supremes, cardamom brings a rich depth and unique taste to our Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta.

How to Supreme a Blood Orange

Supreming is a technique used to remove the flesh segments of citrus fruits without the membrane or pith. Follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Trim the Ends: Using a sharp knife, slice off the top and bottom of the blood orange to reveal some of its flesh.
  2. Cut the Peel: Stand the orange upright on one of its flat ends. Starting from top to bottom, slice the skin away from the flesh, following the fruit's curve.
  3. Remove the Segments: Hold the orange over a bowl to catch any juices. Carefully cut between one segment and the membrane, and then the adjacent segment. Gently free the segment and drop it into the bowl. Repeat until all segments are freed.
  4. Squeeze the Leftovers: After all segments are removed, squeeze what's left of the orange to extract the remaining juice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a different type of citrus if blood oranges aren't available? Yes, you can use regular oranges, grapefruits, or even pomelos. The taste will vary, but the technique remains the same.
  2. What can I substitute for orange blossom water? Rose water or vanilla extract can be used as substitutes, though it will give a different flavor profile. If you omit it entirely, add an extra teaspoon of cardamom or citrus zest for more depth.
  3. Is there a dairy-free version of this dessert? Absolutely! Substitute the heavy cream and whole milk with coconut milk or almond milk. The result will be slightly different in flavor and texture, but still delicious.
  4. How can I tell if the panna cotta is set? The panna cotta should be firm but wobbly when shaken gently. If it's too liquidy after the recommended setting time, leave it in the fridge for another hour.
  5. Do I need any special tools to make this dessert? A fine-mesh sieve is beneficial for straining out the cardamom seeds, and individual ramekins or dessert glasses are ideal for serving. But if you don't have these, get creative with what you have on hand!

Tips for Success

  1. Consistent Heat: While heating the cream mixture, maintain a steady, medium-low heat to prevent boiling. This ensures the gelatin sets correctly, resulting in that silky-smooth texture.
  2. Fresh is Best: Freshly crushed cardamom seeds impart a more robust flavor than pre-ground cardamom.
  3. Presentation Matters: When serving, place the blood orange supremes neatly on top of the set panna cotta, ensuring even distribution, and garnish with mint leaves for a pop of color and freshness.

Recipe Overview

Cardamom and Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Supremes
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 blood oranges, supremed (segments removed)
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, orange blossom water, and cardamom seeds. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is steaming, but not boiling.
  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add the softened gelatin to the warm cream mixture, stirring until the gelatin dissolves completely.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or pitcher to remove the cardamom seeds.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into 4 individual ramekins or dessert glasses, leaving room at the top for the blood orange supremes.
  6. Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 4 hours, or until set.
  7. To serve, top each panna cotta with blood orange supremes and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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