Lavender panna cotta with raspberries

Lavender panna cotta with raspberries

For the first time this summer I am hoping to be able to make this dessert with totally homegrown fruit and flowers as long as my lavender bounces back after the frosts, snow and ice of our winter. One of the best uses I've found for flower sugars is in creamy desserts such as this panna cotta. Use your flavoured sugar to flavour custard and other creamy desserts such as crème brulee

Serves: 6. Prepare: 15 mins. Chilling: at least 3 hrs or overnight

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300ml full cream milk
  • 50g lavender sugar (see below)
  • 2 sheets gelatine or 2 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 450g fresh raspberries, washed

To make flower sugar: (make a week before you want to use it)

  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 10-12 tbsp chopped flower petals (rose petals/lavender heads/marigold heads)
  1. Line six ramekins with cling film and place on a tray.
  2. Heat the cream and milk together with the lavender sugar in a pan until just reaching simmering point. Remove from the heat.
  3. If using sheet gelatine place in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the water and stir into the warmed cream mixture until melted. For powdered gelatine, sprinkle the gelatine over two tablespoons of water in a ramekin and leave until it becomes spongy.
  4. Sit the ramekin in a pan of simmering water and melt very gently. Stir into the warmed cream
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined ramekins, leave to cool then transfer to the fridge to chill. Leave for at least 3 hours until set or overnight
  6. Just before serving turn the panna cotta out onto individual serving plates and serve with the raspberries. You can decorate with sugared lavender flowers if desired.
  7. >For sugared flowers, pick clean, perfect flower heads or petals. Dip into lightly whisked egg white and then into caster sugar to lightly coat. Leave on sheets of baking parchment to dry.

To make flower sugar:

  1. Process or blend the sugar with the flower heads until broken into tiny pieces.
  2. Tip into an airtight jar and seal.
  3. Store in a cool dark place for a week before using.
  4. You can sieve the flower pieces out if you want. I like to leave them in for colour and texture but it's up to you whether you mind spitting out small pieces of flowers!
  • recipes Mary Gwyn
  • pictures David Merewether