Introduction: Cereal Milk Panna Cotta With Strawberries

About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to use…

Hello, how about a fancy – schmancy yet easy to prepare dessert for today?

Ever since I watched Christina Tosi’s story on Netflix (Chef’s Table) it was on my mind that I have to try this cereal milk thing one day. The way Christina Tosi talks about food, her passion for cooking and what she is doing totally fascinated me, bringing childhood memories on my mind with her cereal milk idea.

So, based on the Chef’s Table episode and a little search on the Internet I created a dessert inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s cereal milk panna cotta. I kept two elements of the original dessert, the panna cotta itself and the cereal crunch (though it is fairly sure that these are not totally the same as the original) and added two of my own, adapting the recipe to the season: strawberry and basil sauce and strawberry … pastry maybe? I really don’t know how to call the thing poked into /sitting on top of the dessert. Any suggestions are welcome 😊

I hope you’ll like it as much as we did.

Step 1: You’ll Need

For the cereal milk panna cotta

  • 110 g corn flakes
  • 300 g milk
  • 300 g double cream
  • 60 g honey
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 gelatin leaves (instructions on the product you are using should be checked, prepare to set approximately 0.5 l liquid)

For the corn flakes crunch

  • 75 g corn flakes
  • 20 g coconut milk powder
  • 20 g brown sugar
  • 45 g butter
  • a pinch of salt

For the strawberry – basil sauce

  • 300 g fresh strawberries
  • 50 g sugar
  • a handful of fresh basil

For the strawberry pastry

  • 110 g strawberry puree (no extra strawberries needed, the 300 g above will be enough for the sauce and the pastry)
  • 30 g all-purpose flour
  • 60 g butter
  • 80 g sugar


  • baking tray
  • silicone mats
  • saucepan
  • fine-mesh sieve
  • heat-proof glass
  • blender
  • digital scale
  • bowls
  • glasses

Step 2: Toasting Cereal

Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius.

Spread corn flakes in an even layer on a baking tray lined with silicone mat.

Bake until it gets slightly brown, goldish (15-20 minutes depending on your oven).

Step 3: The Milk Part

Put honey and salt into a heat-proof glass, add 6-8 tablespoons milk and heat it in the microwave a bit (you don't have to boil it or cook it) to help the salt and honey to dissolve. Stir to combine.

Pour the double cream into the rest of the milk.

Step 4: Making Cereal Milk

Dump the toasted cereal into the milk and cream mixture and let it stand for about 25 minutes to infuse. Strain into another saucepan through a fine sieve pressing on the cereal with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Cereal has done its part, discard it. I hate to discard food but I just could not come up with any idea to use the soaked cereal, if you do, let me know.

I transferred it into a measuring jug and added the milk and honey mixture in order to adjust the quantity of the gelatin leaves, as I had no idea in advance how much liquid will remain following soaking. It measured close to 500 ml, therefore I needed 4 gelatin leaves. (It said on the package that 1 leaf would set 100 - 120 ml of liquid, I used a little less than indicated as I was planning to serve the dessert in glasses and I did not want it to get too stiff).

Step 5: Panna Cotta Time

Warm a small amount of cereal milk in a small saucepan. No need to bring it to boil, it needs to feel warm to touch in order to have the gelatin dissolved.

Place gelatin leaves into cold water, let them soak for 5 minutes to get soft.

Squeeze gelatin to remove excess water, then transfer into the warm cereal milk, stir vigorously until it dissolves.

Pour it back into the jug, stir and divide among 5 glasses. Refrigerate until set, usually a few hours, but you can get until this point the previous day you are planning to serve it and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Step 6: Cereal Crunch

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.

Gently melt the butter in the microwave. Be very careful, it may just burst out of the dish all of the sudden. I heated it for about one and a half minutes at 200W that was enough to get it from room temperature to soft but not runny state.

Crush corn flakes with your hands to make it crumbly. Add coconut milk powder, brown sugar, butter, a pinch of salt and mix. Spread onto a baking tray lined with silicone mat, toast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. It is worth to check it half-way, you may need to give it a stir for even toasting.

Step 7: Raspberry - Basil Sauce

First of all, I know that pairing strawberries and basil will sound weird at first glance. OK, also for the second. Give it a try, it works really well together, even my kids like it.

Wash strawberries, then remove stems. Cut them into 4-8 pieces each, depending on the size of the strawberry.

Remove basil leaves from the stem, slice them thinly.

Transfer strawberries into a small saucepan, add sugar and heat on medium heat for a couple of minutes until sugar dissolves and the juice of the fruit is partly released but the strawberry bits are still there. Don’t overcook, it is actually good to taste the fruit bits in the sauce.

Remove 110 g of the sauce, I mean liquid and strawberry bits also to a small bowl, this will be used for the strawberry pastry.

Mix the basil leaf shreds into the remaining strawberry sauce while still warm. Do not cook it, the heat of the strawberry sauce will be enough to wither basil leaves a bit. Keep the sauce in the fridge until used.

Step 8: Strawberry Pastry

Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius.

Put strawberry sauce, butter, flour and sugar into the bowl of a hand-blender, blend.

Pour the mixture onto a silicone mat, spread evenly in a thin layer. Place it into the oven and bake until ready (12-14 minutes).

This was my first try and I must have left the batter a little too thick as after 13 minnutes the edges started to get brown, but the middle part was still undercooked. My solution was that I took it out of the oven, waited until it got cold, and it set a bit at the same time, then I cut it into pieces, turned them upside down and baked for another 5 minutes.

I was happy with the result, crunchy, strawberry - flavored, sweet pastry, but next time, I will take more care when spreading the batter.

Step 9: Assembly

To serve, grab a panna cotta, scoop strawberry sauce on top, sprinkle with cereal crunch and lay the strawberry pastry on the rim of the glass or poke it into the panna cotta.

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