Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert of silky, sweetened cream set with gelatin, is all at once simple, classic and elegant.  It is, at its best, subtle, not overly sweet, and the perfect way to end a meal on a light and refreshing note.
Panna cotta comes together quickly and can be molded in any type of vessels you choose -- from ramekins to demitasse, martini glasses to mason jars.  I like to compliment my panna cotta with a thin layer of gelée -- a gelatin stabilized glaze made from fresh fruit.  Apricots are in season right now, and are bursting with summer sweetness, so I chose to do an apricot gelée.  You can use my recipe with any type of fruit you'd like.  
Here are some photos of panna cottas I've made in the past with a variety of gelées and vessels:
Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Honey Gelée and Bee Pollen
Lemon Panna Cotta, no gelée
Meyer-Lemon Panna Cotta, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelee

I like to decorate my desserts with edible flowers, especially in summer and springtime. My theme fo…

The LEGO Movie Party: The 3D Emmet Minifigure Cake

It's been a few years since my husband and I collaborated on a 3D cake, but our daughter's The LEGO Movie themed birthday party presented an opportunity that was too fun to pass up.  


My husband and I have been LEGO fanatics from an early age, so the idea of bringing a minifigure to life in cake was an adventure in creativity and engineering that we could hardly wait to start.

The birthday girl was delighted to see Emmet on the table when she woke up on the morning of her party.

Here's a little peek at the process from start to finish: 

We started with photographs of an actual minifigure, both front and side views.  We enlarged the photos to the size that we wanted the final product to be.

From there, we began construction on a PVC framework.

We made a large batch of Krispie Treat bricks.  Next, we inserted the bottom portion of the PVC frame into the Krispie Treat block.  The frame clicked into the board just like a LEGO piece.  Once the block was in place, we began to carve the legs.

We covered the board and the legs in fondant.  We used rounds of Krispie Treat under the white fondant to mimic the look of the LEGO studs on a baseplate.  Then, we stacked, carved, and crumb-coated our cake for the body.  We set it in place on top of the legs and inserted the arms into the frame.

The head was also made of Krispie Treats.  The arms were done by adding two layers of blue fondant to the PVC frame.

For the decals, we used white frosting sheets printed with edible ink.  You can see in the photo above that we kept our inspiration close by -- the real Emmet minifigure in the lower right.

For the final touch, we created a custom banner out of the icing sheet paper that mimicked the look of the invitation.

If you're having a LEGO party, I made a blank template of this invitation available for free HERE for you to use.

Here's the finished piece!

To see more of our 3D Cake creations, click HERE.

This post has been linked-up with:
BFF Open House @ The Answer is Chocolate

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