Pistachio and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Persian Pashmak

panna cotta

I was a little nervous about using the Pashmak. I hadn’t really understood why until it came out in an email to the revered foodie Tania. I had asked her for some input on what to make with the goods and suddenly it became abundantly clear to me… I was nervous because this Persian fairy floss was dainty and delicate.

Dainty, delicate… and pink!

Not three words that I would usually string together in my cooking. Rustic yes, every day yes, basic yes…but dainty and delicate? Not really.

I’d bought it with grand visions, plans changed, ideas came and went, and so did the time. When are you going to use that stuff? said Mr Chocolate helpfully… Soon, really soon.

Cupcakes possibly… a cake could be good…or perhaps a little panna cotta?

Now panna cotta sounded like the right thing although along with never having played with pashmak before I’d never tried making panna cotta before, or used gelatine for that matter.

Well that was my answer wasn’t it. The one that I had the least amount of knowledge on, and only a fluffy idea forming, well that would be the one. Of course it would be, it’s the cityhippyfarmgirl way. Hackbaking I like to call it, (and if it all ended up in colourful sloppy mess in a bowl? I had a sneaking suspicion we’d still eat it.)


Pistachio and Vanilla Panna Cotta

300mls cream

150g natural yogurt

50mls water

75g raw sugar

 1 tsp vanilla

60 mls water

2 1/2 tsp powder gelatine

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, dissolving it. In a pot add the cream, yogurt and sugar- gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Cool a little, and add the gelatine mixture and vanilla, dissolve again.  Pour into individual glasses and chill for about 3 hours.

40g lightly roasted pistachios- roughly crushed

Persian Pashmak*


* Pashmak wilts in humidity…a lot!

If you like rose water, you can swap this for the vanilla.


25 thoughts on “Pistachio and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Persian Pashmak

  1. Oh lovely!!. You are going to have to get used to more pinK Brydie, I can see girly cakes in your future. What a lovely dessert you have made and conquered three fears all at once…… dainty desserts, gelatine and that Pashmak It is quite fleeting in its beauty and fluffiness , as you have now experienced. I am sure Mr Chocolate enjoyed it!


    • Tania I’ve still got a lot left over so I think I’ll have to make some ridiculously girly pink cupcakes to go with the pashmak. Along with compulsory flowers and silver sugar balls?…yep, that’d be pretty darn girly.


  2. Crikey, that is pink. I’m going off to find out all about Persian Pashmak now. I’ve not used geletine (or veggie equivalent) either and Panna Cotta has been on my list of things to make for a very long time. You’ve beaten me to it and done it far more elegantly than I could ever have done – pink or no pink.


  3. As a kid, my sister and I used to love going to the state fair every year, ’cause that was the only place we knew where you could get what we call ‘cotton candy’ – which I’m sure is the same stuff as pashmak – I haven’t seen it for years – of course, I haven’t gone to the state fair in years either. Your panna cotta looks delightful, and quite worthy of an effort.


    • Doc, it’s similar, but cotton candy (or fairy floss as we call it) is only spun sugar. Pashmak is spun sesame and sugar, giving it a much more subtle texture and delicate flavour (I think.) It’s intriguing stuff!


  4. Dear Brydie,

    We are from Pariya, a company that makes gourmet Pashmak in various flavors – Chocolate, Orange Blossom, Pistachio, Rose, Saffron and Vanilla. Our Pashmak is hand made from all natural ingredients free from colorings and preservatives. You can find out more about us at our website http://www.pariya.com.

    We are delighted at reading your blog about your creative use of Pashmak and we would love to post a link to your blog on our facebook page. We would also like to ask for your permission to feature your beautiful photos of pistachio and vanilla panna cotta with Pashmak topping on our facebook page. Full credit would be given to you as the owner of the photos. Would this be okay with you?

    Looking forward to your reply and thanks for this lovely blog again!



  5. @Karen, if you live in Australia, you can buy Persian Pashmak by Pariya at major gourmet grocers like Thomas Dux, David Jones etc. and various gourmet delis. Our Pashmak comes in a variety of flavours: Chocolate, Orange Blossom, Pistachio, Rose (featured in this blog), Saffron and Vanilla. We also sell some pistachio products that would be a lovely feature in desserts.

    You can also order our products online and get them delivered to you on our website: http://www.pariya.com/



  6. Your dessert looks delicious! Was it a hit?
    The only time I’ve had pashmak was on top of an Eton Mess, which I’d also never had before at the time but found it absolutely scrumptious. And, yes, it was pink! Recommended.
    Lovely pix too!


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