The Citric: lemongrass pannacotta, cornmeal and orange cake

How did this dessert came up? Thinking of citrus. I bought the lemongrass and yuzu powder, at China town, without knowing what I was going to do with them, but in my head was the idea of some citrus dessert.

The lemongrass, from the citronella family, is an hard herb, not easy to chew, with particular lemony flavor. It has to be infused to extract the flavour. The cream with fat content, is excellent for this. Be careful in the amount of lemongrass, it can be too invasive.


The panna cotta, which in Italian means cooked cream, has three ingredients: cream, sugar and a gelling agent. It is a thick cream, is not airy, but it´s refreshing. As pure cream, there isn´t any other ingredient that changes the flavor, such as an egg like in a bavarois, and it can absorb all the aroma of lemongrass.

The base is a polenta cake, the one from the previous post. When I made that cake I took out a bit, about one quarter, to make this dessert. 

So, we have orange and lemongrass flavors. And one flavour is missing. And lemon goes well with the other flavours and also it makes the greasy cream taste better.

Usually I get very technical and I talk nerd, if it´s too boring can skip to the next paragraph.

A dessert is a melange of flavors, textures and maybe temperatures. Then, that mixture must have some order. It should be. Not always the case.It´s about the creative process: contrasting textures or accompany? It´s the same with the temperatures of the preparations. And with the aromas and flavors, which ones we choose, how many? There should be like 3, or 4 at most. And as if that were not enough, in which tipe of preparation, a mousse, a pudding? And how much? It´s not easy. Nor is nuclear physics. We are talking about desserts, not about the remedy for all the population.

Returning to the dessert, here comes the recipe:


The Citric

Polenta and orange cake
Neutral oil 1 1/2 tbsp
Egg yolk 1 unit
Common sugar 40 gr
Orange juice 30 gr
Flour 50 gr
Cornmeal 20 gr
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Pinch of salt

- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Mix the oil, egg yolk, sugar and orange juice
- Add the flour, polenta, salt and baking powder and mix to break up the lumps
- Pour into a square pan 20 x 20 cm, floured and buttered
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Remove and let cool. Store in refrigerator until it´s time to set the panna cotta.

Lemongrass panna cotta
Whipping cream 300 g
Lemongrass 1/2 stick or (30 g)
Sugar 30 g 
Unflavored gelatin 5 g (3/4 of packet)
Cold water 3 tablespoons 

- Cut the ​​lemongrass in slices
- Put the cream, sugar and lemongrass in a saucepan and bring to the fire
- When the sugar is dissolved, turn off heat and let stand for 30 minutes
- Dissolve gelatin in cold water
- When 30 minutes passed, heat the cream, add gelatin and mix
- Remove the lemongrass with a sieve and pour the cream over the base of polenta
- Refrigerate until set, about half an hour

Instead of lemongrass, can be made with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, orange zest or whatever comes to mind.


Lemon and orange gelatin
Lemon juice 30 g (juice of a lemon or so)
Orange juice 100 g
Unflavored gelatin 1/2 packet (3 g)

- Soak the gelatin in the juice and rest for 2 minutes
- Heat to dissolve
- Pour 3 tablespoons of juice over the panna cotta. Move the pan to spread over the entire surface and put into refrigerator until set
- Pour in the remaining juice and move the pan to cover the entire surface
- Refrigerate until set completely
- Remove from pan with a knife
- Cut into slices. These were of 4 x 6 cm. So you get 15 servings.

With so many instructions may seem hard to do, but no. It's pretty simple, we just have to wait 
the panna cotta sets, to put the gelatin on top. And we have to put a bit of gelatin because you don´t want to dissolve the panna cotta with warm gelatin. But this is done very quickly, in 5 minutes and the gelatin sets.

Notice in the pictures that the base is not perfect, is grown in the center, and the panna cotta was not evenly throughout the surface. T
he mound can be withdrawn with a knife.

On top it´s decorated with the yuzu powder, from Chinatown. I didn´t use it in the proper way, but it looks cute.

It's a very refreshing dessert that goes well after a heavy meal. Or at tea party with it´s delicate appearance, and also is very good.


  1. AnonymousMay 11, 2014

    This sounds delicious! I read your recipe, and the cake directions mention flour - however, there's no flour in the ingredient list. How much flour should it be?

    1. Thanks Danube66, I fixed it!!!


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