Humble gifts of milk & honey (milk & honey jelly)

“So, there’s meant to be this really fun market nearby, my friends have been and they said it’s lots of fun…do you want to go with me tomorrow?”

I arched my eyebrow and looked at my mother rather suspiciously. “You do realize that tomorrow is Sunday, right? My cleaning & resting day?”

My mother flapped her hands at me. “I know that! But the market opens at 7:30am, so you only have to get up at 6:30am to get ready…and I promise it wouldn’t take too long…and you’ll have the rest of the day to do all the things you need to!”

The last time that my mother said that a market visit wouldn’t take too long, I ended up lightly thudding my forehead against a pillar at the springvale markets, 3 hours after arriving there and fighting for parking, while my mother tried to decide just which variety of sweet potato she wanted to buy.

You’d think that I would have learnt my lesson.

Being the dutiful daughter, I woke up at 6:30am on a Sunday morning in winter (a time of day that you really shouldn’t see on a Sunday – the only exception being if you haven’t actually had any sleep), rolled into the shower, back out again and then into some clothes. Finished getting ready 10 minutes early, I loped into the kitchen to fix myself some toast, when I noticed that the house was quiet. Too quiet. Which meant that my mother was still asleep.

I crept into her room and gave her a hard poke in the boob to wake her up, and scolded her for not being ready…however, to her credit, she was showered and decent by the time I finished munching on my charred bread and off we went to the markets.

Strike two against my mother – turns out that it was not a Farmer’s market, but a trash & treasure market. I had woken up at 6:30am on a SUNDAY to look over people’s second hand shit. Colour me unimpressed. In an attempt to make the best of the situation, I plastered on my ‘glowering’ look (to try and warn people against trying to interact with me) and shuffled about in the cold, foggy air, trying to feign interest as my mother looked over various pieces of bric-a-brac. Thankfully there were a few farmer’s food stalls that grabbed my interest, and even an apiarist (bee keeper, though he preferred the former term to the latter) who was selling slabs of honeycomb.

Oh, the honeycomb. It glowed golden even through the foggy air, and just looking at it made me imagine cutting a piece and having the warmth of my mouth melt the honey so it slid down my throat as I slowly chewed the waxy bits of honeycomb to extract every lick of sweetness.

As soon as we got back home, I unpacked my treasure and stared at it, wondering just how to show off its perfection…and after raiding the fridge and finding the ingredients for a panna cotta, I decided that a layered jelly topped with a piece of golden honeycomb would be perfect!

Milk & Honey Jelly
(Honey Jelly layered with vanilla panna cotta)

Vanilla panna cotta ingredients
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup double cream
2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod, split in half with seeds scraped into the milk)
2 tbsp honey

Honey jelly ingredients
1 2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup strongly flavoured honey (I used stringybark)
3 tsp powdered gelatin

Pieces of honeycomb (either the real beeswax stuff or the candy) to decorate

TIP: To make a vegan-friendly version of this dish, replace the milk with a rich, full-flavoured soy milk such as Bonsoy, and replace the cream with a vegetarian-friendly yoghurt. Also, you can replace the gelatin with Vege-gel, a vegetarian gelatin replacement.

1. Pour the water and honey into a pot, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb some of the water (this helps it dissolve faster and more evenly during cooking), then place on the stove over a low flame and stir constantly till it begins to come to a boil and the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Combine the milk, cream, vanilla and honey in a pot, then sprinkle over the gelatin and rest for 5 minutes. Place the pot on the stove over a low flame and stir constantly till the gelatin is dissolved and the milk mixture is beginning to boil. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Grab 4 glasses (whether tumblers or wine glasses, whatever you have handy) and then use HALF the honey mixture to pour into each glass (so in this first pour, they should receive 1/8 of the mixture each). Carefully transfer the glasses to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Even though the honey jelly and panna cotta should not set without being put in the fridge, give the mixtures in the pots a quick stir every 10-15minutes to prevent the gelatin from settling and the mixtures from forming a skin.

4. Once the first layer of honey jelly is set, pull out the glasses and carefully pour 1/8th of the panna cotta mixture into each glass, on top of the honey jelly. Carefully place back in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour to set, then repeat with the honey jelly, and then the panna cotta.

5. Just before serving, top each glass with a piece of honeycomb – and whether you use the real mccoy or the candy version is completely up to you :)

This recipe has been designed to be quite soft – it’s really not a jelly that you would want to unmould, as the jelly would most likely go a little flat. This was a deliberate move, as I wanted the entire dessert to be soft enough to melt away in your mouth without any chewing, so that the flavours were what you noticed and not the texture.

Also, whilst this does require the fridge to set, I recommend bringing it to room temperature before serving. This will allow the jelly to soften a bit more, plus if it is served cold, this will dull the beautiful flavour of your honey.

[tags]jelly, honey, pannacotta, dessert, cream, milk, dairy[/tags]

Others who have tried this recipe:


  1. OMG Ellie they look AMAZING!!!
    I’m still stunned at how fantastic they look!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous Ellie! Love the perfect layers and I love biting into honeycomb myself. Well done!

  3. I just discovered your blog after finding you on Twitter, and I’m feeling the need to go back and read every single post in order. LOVE IT!!! and this recipe looks amazing; the pictures are incredible. I can taste it…

  4. You have such a lovely blog, Ellie. Gorgeous creation despite having to wake early for it :) And you’re hilarious. So glad Barbara led me here!

  5. Wow! Those are gorgeous!!! You take the best looking food pictures. I love your blog and yes I’m one of your stalkers on Twitter. Keep up the great work. πŸ˜€

  6. Beautiful pictures! (as usually)… your recipe seems so tasty and I like the combination of flavors. Thank you sharing…

  7. As always Ellie, you’re a mistress of all things delicious. I don’t even like honey and I was salivating.

  8. such a beautiful photography! i could almost taste the smoothness and creaminess of the panna cotta

  9. Oh Ellie! They’re gorgeous!The colours are lovely…bet they tasted good too!

  10. I absolutely love honey. Such beautiful photos, the honeycomb on the top is the perfect touch.

  11. These are absolutely stunning! The presentation; the pictures – I’m in awe! πŸ˜€

  12. PERFECTION!!! Those look sooo lovely and delicious!! Cute story about your mom too hehe :smile:

    (PS I’ve lurked for a while but I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented. I ADORE your blog!! I am half Korean myself so I enjoy your stories all the more!)

  13. Pretty pretty pretty photographs! The honeycomb garnish looks totally sexy!!!

  14. Ellie, this is not only stunning to look at but brilliant. I haven’t seen honeycomb sold her at the Farmer’s market, but I would really like to find some after seeing this post and make this.

    I laughed reading your post about your mother. My mom does that all the time to me. Trying to trick me into thinking I’m taking her somewhere only to find out later I am driving an hour farther than I hoped to. Some day I’ll look back and laugh but for right now I’m on to her. Those clever Korean old ladies.

  15. Asian Aisle says:

    Wow, the presentation of this milk & honey jelly is gorgeous. I’ve never seen anything like this dessert before.

  16. WOW! You are a true genius!

  17. These look absolutely gorgeous! I love making simple vanilla pannacotta and serving it a drizzle of honey so this is right up my alley!

  18. @Iron Chef Shellie – Aww, thanks sugar :)

    @Tartelette – Thanks Helen :) And there’s nothing quite like fresh honeycomb!

    @Wendy – Thanks sugar :) I hope you enjoy reading the blog :)

    @Jen Yu – Thanks for stopping by Jen :) I’m a huge fan of your blog…though I’ve been lazy about commenting since back from my hiatus!

    @Pocky – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Dominique (de vous Γ  moi…) – Thank you hon, I’m glad you liked this post :)

    @Eolo – Aww, thanks sweetie :)

    @eliza – Thanks hon :)

    @Reemski – Thanks sweetie! :)

    @Megan {Feasting on Art} – I have to admit that the reason I made this dish is so that I could use the fresh honeycomb as a garnish πŸ˜› Glad it worked out almost as well as it looked in my head!

    @Tina – Thank you sweetie :)

    @Victoria – Aww, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment :) And I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading the post…Korean mothers are something else, aren’t they? πŸ˜‰

    @Amrita – Thanks sweetie :)

    @alice – I hope you manage to find some fresh honeycomb, the taste is marvellous! And you know that one day we’ll be laughing…because we’ll probably be using the same tricks on our own kids :)

    @Asian Aisle – Thanks for the lovely comment :)

    @Panida – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Sathya – Thanks hon! :) I think honey with panna cotta is a fabulous combo :)

  19. i absolutely have to compliment you on this stunning creation! it looks completely and wholly perfect, and i’m sure it’s pretty easy on the palate too. :)

  20. Nice photography.

  21. Wow
    It looks so delicious
    Thank for sharing

  22. These are absolutely gorgeous!

  23. My God that looks wonderful.

  24. Good lord that looks amazing. I love the pictures too. You’ve done it again!

  25. Beautiful! The honeycomb is such a nice touch.

  26. WOWWWW!! You’re a pro!! This looks delicious! I Want one!

  27. Gorgeous! Now that is something a Pooh bear would love! I’d love to try this sometime :smile:

  28.’s amazing what they get us to do.

    These jellies look amazing.


  29. Beautiful presentation! Love the flavours too – sounds so comforting. A wonderful thing to have after winding down from such a busy Sunday πŸ˜‰

  30. that is one attractive dessert, well worth all that waiting time

  31. Mine failed, sadly. We used the non-set liquids to make a rice pudding, so that’s OK, but I’m frustrated that my gelatin didn’t set. Ah well, I’ll try again with fresher stuff.

  32. Mmmm looks delicious, I love love love honey. Also, this dessert cannot be made vegan because honey itself is an animal byproduct!

  33. I just discovered your blog. I was actually looking for songs for a slide show and your blog came up in my Google search!!! I love your site! I just subscribed.

  34. Oh god. That is so gorgeous. And perfect. I want some honeycomb. :(

  35. Hi Ellie, this recipe looks divine. I can’t wait to try it this weekend! Gorgeous blog by the way!

  36. These look soooo good! That opening shot is stunning!

    The top layer along with the honeycomb reminds me of a boiled egg for some reason.

  37. Just wanted to let you know that I made these milk honey jelly panna cottas over the weekend. Really loved the taste of them. They took longer than expected to set in the fridge, but worth the wait! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  38. Hi Ellie, I was wondering what kind of milk you’ve used for the recipe (Whole or Fat Free), and I’m curious about the double cream, because I can never seem to find it at the store, for example like Lucky’s ?

  39. Those are gorgeous.

  40. I made these! They were fantastic, so delicious and stunning to boot. Thanks for the recipe :)

  41. @grace – Thank you hon :)

    @banquet manager – Thanks!

    @John – Thank you for the lovely comment :)

    @Jennifer Galatioto – Thanks hon :)

    @mary – Thanks!

    @Misty – Thanks :) I try my best πŸ˜‰

    @gaga – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Marielle – Thanks hon :)

    @Alisa@Foodista – Thanks hon :)

    @jasmine – LOL! Isn’t it just πŸ˜‰

    @Y – Thanks babe! xox

    @Maria@TheGourmetChallenge – Thanks hon :)

    @GSG – I’;m sorry to hear that it didn’t set properly :(

    @Vanessa – Thanks for the info!

    @Maria – Thanks for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment :)

    @anna – Honeycomb is a fabulous thing :)

    @Zina @ tastedbytwo – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Simon – LOL!

    @Shari – I’m so glad you enjoyed them :)

    @Carol – Unfortunately I can’t comment on the store, but I did use whole-fat :)

    @Jaime – Thanks :)

    @Briony – I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment! xox

  42. beekeeper says:

    The best showcase of honey comb I’ve seen yet.

  43. WOW! This is perfection! I love it, so impressive…

    I stumbled upon your blog looking for some tips for using point and shoot cameras! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been already improving a lot – and seeing how much you progressed over the years and how far you’ve come, it gives me even more enthusiasm to keep up!

  44. lourdes says:

    :smile: i really liked to do that and serve to my husband… πŸ˜›

  45. WONDERFUL dessert!

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