Raisin Branna Cotta

The Best/Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done In My Life was buy Shaun this cookbook for Valentine’s Day:

Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook is essentially a compilation of all of the most incredible desserts in the entire world. THE ENTIRE WORLD. I’ve raved about Milk Bar before. If you live in New York and have never been there, I judge you. Christina’s desserts are creative, unique, and have a childish throw-everything-into-a-cookie-style that is equal parts adorable and AWESOME. Birthday cake truffles? Yes.


[Photo Source]

Compost cookies? There’s potato chips in them.


[Photo Source]

“Crack Pie”? I’ve had it. It’s crack all right.*


[Photo Source]

One of Christina’s classics is her “Cereal Milk.” It’s so simple but so brilliant and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Milk steeped in baked cereal that retains the flavor of the cereal after it’s filtered. Probably the simplest recipe in the book is her Cereal Milk Panna Cotta, which Shaun took and ran with this week to create the best meeting of two JMU minds ever: Raisin Branna Cotta.


Perfectly portioned, ridiculously healthy [for a dessert, and especially a dessert in this book] and absolutely delicious. This is some of his best work, and we’ve got big plans for more of these: Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Peanut Butter Puffins? OMG. Boozy cereal panna cotta? Just you wait, people.

The milk tasted like cereal. It’s like cereal pudding, except more amazing. Topped with soaked raisins and a little bit of TJ’s Raisin Bran [the best kind], this was the perfect little dessert. It’s nice to get some use out of my little baby bicycle glasses, too.**

Raisin Branna Cotta (Vegetarian)

A Shaun/Christina Tosi masterpiece.

First, make Cereal Milk[Watch here for two redheads making Cereal Milk. Shaun is so going to divorce me for her]

  • Ingredients:
    1. 2 3/4 cups Raisin Bran
    2. 3 3/4 cups milk, cold [we use Almond Breeze 35 calorie unsweetened]
    3. 1 1/4 tablespoons brown sugar substitute, tightly packed [if using real brown sugar, use 2 tablespoons]
    4. 1/4 tsp kosher salt [don’t substitute sea salt]
  • Procedure:
    1. Heat the oven to 300°F.
    2. Spread the bran flakes on a sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely.
    3. Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher. Pour the milk into the pitcher and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
    4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. The milk will drain off quickly at first, then become thicker and starchy toward the end of the straining process. Using the back of a ladle (or your hand), wring the milk out of the cornflakes, but do not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve. (Mushy cereal is my favorite.)
    5. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved.
    6. Set aside.
Then, make the Branna Cotta. [more inspirations here]
  • Ingredients:
    1. 3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
    2. 1 1/4 cups cereal milk
    3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute, tightly packed [if using real brown sugar, use 1.5 tablespoons]
    4. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt [don’t substitute sea salt]
  • Procedure:
    1. Bloom the gelatin.
    2. Warm a little bit of the cereal milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve.
    3. Whisk in the remaining cereal milk, brown sugar and salt until everything is dissolved, being careful not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
    4. Pour the cereal milk mixture into the two glasses, filling them equally.
    5. Transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Then, make the Raisin Topping.
  • Ingredients:
    1. 1/4 cup raisins
    2. 1/2 cup water
    3. 1/4 cup sugar substitute
    4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Procedures
    1. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat.
    2. Pour in sugar substitute.
    3. Pour in raisins.
    4. Pour in cinnamon.
    5. Simmer and stir until the raisins have plumped.
    6. Store in refrigerator.
Then, Assemble.
  1. After the Branna Cotta is set, divide the raisin syrup evenly over each cup of branna cotta.
  2. Crumble a few bran flakes over the raisin syrup.
  3. Enjoy!

* Or, at least what I’d imagine crack to be like based on my experiences with the media.

** Well, the two Shaun didn’t RUIN BY PUTTING THEM IN THE DISHWASHER. My favorite joke when Shaun asks me what glass I want is to ask for one of the colored bikes that no longer exists. I don’t think he’s as amused as me. If anyone wants to buy me a present… my set is 50% dead.


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Categories: Food, Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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3 Comments on “Raisin Branna Cotta”

  1. Lauren Bingham
    February 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Those compost cookies look a lot like my Chubby Hubbys 🙂

    • February 26, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Haha! Sort of. They’re crazy different though.


  1. Incredible, Edible Volcano | Ryes and 'Shine - March 5, 2012

    […] did it again.” But honestly, he deserves a huge chunk of the credit, too! This might top the first meeting of the JMU minds as the new best meeting of two JMU […]

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