Monday, May 21, 2007

Elderflower Panna Cotta with a Strawberry Coulis

The subtle, indefinable taste of elderflower is a wonderful foil to the luxurious texture and muted flavour of panna cotta. I first came across the panna cotta recipe by Richard Phillips from and have since adapted it to intensify its floral flavours by using elderflower infused sugar: (a doddle to make; follow this link to find out how) The strawberry coulis adds a welcome dimension of acidity without overwhelming the elderflowers. Result: a dessert symphony with haunting descant notes of one of the UK’s most prolific, edible wild flowers… enjoy!

Serves 6 - 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes plus chilling – 4 to 6 hours


250ml fresh milk

250ml double cream

25g granulated elderflower infused sugar

2 large heads fresh elderflowers

1 sachet gelatine

For the coulis

300g fresh, ripe strawberries

3 tablespoons elderflower cordial

Squeeze of lemon juice to taste


In a heavy based saucepan, mix the milk, cream and sugar.

Bring to a gentle simmer then remove from heat.

Shake the elderflowers to remove any insects, then place them, stalk side up, into the hot mixture. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Remove the flower heads and re-heat gently, do not allow it to boil.

Add the gelatine to 50ml freshly boiled water and whisk well until the gelatine is dissolved.

Add this to milk and cream mixture. Stir briskly until the gelatine solution is fully incorporated, then pour into individual dishes, or a flexible silicon muffin tray.

Place in the fridge until set.

To make the coulis, simply blitz the strawberries and cordial for one minute with a blender.

Adjust the acidity with a little lemon juice to taste.

Pass the coulis through a wire mesh sieve.

Store chilled and bring it back to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

To serve:

Drizzle the coulis around the panna cotta and garnish with a scattering of fresh elderflower blossoms and a little elderflower sugar if desired before serving.


tara said...

So very beautiful; not only are the flavours unexpected, but the scattering of elderflowers are an elegant and feminine touch. Thank you so very much for taking the time to be a part of this month's SHF!

Loren said...

Absolutely stunning! Foraging offers it's own pleasures, but being able to create something so beautiful with your finds is downright decadent!