Last week I felt like a panna cotta. I shared all its anxieties – wondering whether I had set properly, and if my flavours had developed, or if I’d end up being a bland puddle, slopped onto the plate of my existence. I was somewhat restless, sitting there with a slight wobble, not really knowing what to do – so I decided to try and attempt the very dessert that I felt I had embodied.
This recipe is slightly adapted from ruby and the kitchen, it is delightfully simple whilst being completely delicious:
Lavender panna cotta with rosehip and hibiscus syrup
1 leaf gelatine
175ml single cream
50g caster sugar
2 tsp lavender heads
vegetable oil, to grease
For the syrup
Rosehip and Hibiscus tea (or any tart red berries)
50g caster sugar
Soak the gelatine in cold water. Heat the cream and sugar on a moderate heat, add the lavender and take off the heat, allow to infuse for ten minutes. Sieve the lavender cream, stir in the gelatine and add to the milk. Grease a couple of moulds (I used a muffin tin). Leave in the fridge until set (about 2 hours).
For the syrup, heat a cup’s worth of the rosehip and hibiscus tea in a pan with the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil until it reduces and becomes ‘syrupy.’
Release the panna cottas from their moulds by briefly dipping them in hot water and teasing them out onto a plate. I found this process rather nerve racking, not wanting to ruin the pristine beige sheen by accidentally cutting into it – but with a bit of patience and a few deep breaths they fell out onto the plate without too much fuss. Drizzle over the syrup in whatever manner you wish.
The slight wobble of the panna cotta was pleasing enough to relieve me of my own nervous shaking. However, I was still worried that I had perhaps not infused the lavender for long enough and would thus end up with nothing more than sweet jellied milk – but open taking a spoonful, my anxieties were put to rest. The floral lavender came through – strong and reassuring, coupled with comforting creaminess and contrasting with the tart, fruity syrup. During the time in which I was eating the panna cotta, my worries and restlessness had been quelled, and afterwards, it felt like everything might actually be okay… mostly because I knew there were still two more lavender panna cottas in the fridge.