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Panna Cotta with Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote

Elderflowers are back in season at the moment. We use them in a myriad of different ways in the kitchen. They have a particular affinity with green gooseberries which are in season at the same time.


Serves 6-8

Panna Cotta

600ml (1 pint/2 1/2 cups) double cream

1-2 vanilla pods, split lengthways

50g (2oz/1/4 cup) castor sugar

scant 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine

2 tablespoons (2 American tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) water

Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote

900g (2lbs) green gooseberries

2 or 3 elderflower heads

600ml (1 pint/2 1/2 cups) cold water

400g (14oz/1 3/4 cups) sugar


gooseberry leaves (optional)

softly whipped cream

soft brown Barbados sugar

6-8 moulds (75-110ml/3-4fl oz) lightly brushed with non-scented oil - sunflower or arachide

Panna Cotta.

First make the panna cotta.  Put the cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan with the split vanilla pods and castor sugar.  Put on a low heat and bring to the shivery stage.  Meanwhile, ‘sponge’ the gelatine in the water. Put the bowl in a saucepan of simmering water until the gelatine is dissolved.  Add a little of the cream to the gelatine, then stir both mixtures together.  Remove the vanilla pods, then pour into the moulds.  When cold, cover and refrigerate until set, preferably overnight.

Next make the compote.

First top and tail the gooseberries.  Tie 2 or 3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, add the sugar and cover with cold water.  Bring slowly to the boil for 2 minutes.  Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts.  Allow to get cold.  Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers.  

To Serve

Put a large gooseberry leaf on a plate.  Carefully turn out a wobbly panna cotta onto or beside the leaf, spoon a little compote on to the plate.  Put a blob of softly whipped cream to the side.  Sprinkle this with soft brown sugar and serve immediately.

This is a recipe by
Darina Allen
View all my recipes

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