Breakfast for Dessert

Tastes like childhood, looks like successful adulting.

This recipe might break the internet.

I'm not kidding--there is nothing not to love about this miraculous little creation.

And how could it not be amazing? I started with one recipe from David Chang's Momofuku, one recipe from Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts, and then swirled them around in my brain long enough until they took on my own influence.

I feel obligated to mention that I have a bit of a foodie crush on David Chang (and if you don't know who he is, please google him and then proceed to watch the entire first season of Mind of a Chef on Netflix). I bought his cookbook Momofuku years ago, but the detail oriented, meat heavy dishes always seemed out of my reach. Then recently I was flipping through and landed on one of the desserts featured in the Ko chapter of the book. And oh my god was it ever perfect to pair with the honeycomb recipe I had discovered weeks previously in Fancy Desserts!

Once this combination sprang to mind, I literally set off to the grocery store immediately and started in on the dish. When creativity strikes there is no stopping it.

My family was (probably rightfully) concerned as I gleefully shoved a pan of cornflakes into the oven and watched my caramel bubbling as if it were a witches brew.

I literally just finished this recipe--the remains are sitting in my refrigerator as I type this--and I can't wait to make it again. The possibilities and potential adaptations are nearly endless. I mean, this could be a pre-dessert, a plated dessert with a few more added elements, an entremets.... And as my mind is spinning over these possibilities, I am realizing that the three cups of coffee I consumed prior to 9am may also have had some impact on the state of my brain. 😉

I'm calling this 'Breakfast for Dessert' because I secretly love it when recipes have intriguing titles that are both vague and descriptive, but to add a tag line onto that, this dessert is a Cereal Milk Panna Cotta with Orange Blossom 'Honeycomb.' Naturally gluten free, does not require an oven, is quick to prepare and easy to store, could be adapted into a dairy free and even sugar free variation if thats your jam.

Cereal Milk Panna Cotta
inspired by David Chang's Cereal Milk Custard, with a handful of minor adaptations

3 cups cornflakes
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sheets (4 grams) gelatin

  1. Heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake the cornflakes in one even layer on a cookie sheet. Don't worry about greasing the sheet--its only cornflakes. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, then remove and let cool for five minutes.
  2. While the cornflakes are baking, place the milk and cream in a bowl or tupperware container.
  3. Add the cooled cornflakes to the milk, cover and leave at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  4. Strain out the cornflakes and place the milk in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt to the milk, and microwave for about 2 minutes or until the milk has heated and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Bloom the gelatin, then stir into the warm milk mixture.
  6. Pour the milk into ramekins, cups, dishes, silicon molds....whatever floats your boat.
  7. Let the panna cotta set up in the refrigerator uncovered for an hour, then cover and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. *If you chose to use a silicon mold, after the first hour, place the mold in the freezer for an hour for easy removal!

Orange Blossom Honeycomb
inspired by Brooks Headley's Chocolate-Covered Honeycomb recipe, with a handful of adaptations

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
1 tablespoon baking soda

  1. Line a baking sheet with silpat and set aside. Don't worry about greasing the silpat if you are new to using them--it will all turn out just fine.
  2. In a medium deep-sided saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and continue to boil the mixture--keep an eye on it but DON'T STIR IT. Again, it will be just fine on its own.
  3. After about 5 minutes of boiling and while the liquid is still clear, add in the honey and swirl the pot a little to incorporate it.
  4. After about 15 minutes, the caramel will have reached a light tan color--this is what you are looking for, do not, I repeat do not, let the caramel become actually brown.
  5. At this stage, add in the baking soda, whisk briskly for one second, then quickly pour out the mixture across the prepared silpat. It will look scary and ginormous. Leave it be. Don't fuss with it--don't even move the tray--and let it sit there and cool for an hour.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut/break the honeycomb into smaller pieces. Leave this at room temperature until ready to use.

Assembly: Top the chilled and firm panna cotta with squares and/or crumbles of the honeycomb, and if you are feeling really fancy, maybe some crunchy chocolate beads or chocolate shavings.

Leave a Reply