seaweed, elderflower and rose panna cotta

Panna Cotta

Don’t be put off by the seaweed in this queen of desserts. There is no taste of carragheen (irish moss). In fact it is widely used as a thickener (E407) in ice-cream and jelly desserts. Its very natural and very effective.

Use Carragheen (Irish Moss), often found in rock pools along with False Irish Moss – both are equally good to use for this. The former is wiry and slimy to the touch the latter is wiry and pimply to the touch.

Panna Cotta 2

Boil up (600ml water) 80g of carragheen and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir now and again to help release the sticky polysaccharides.

In a separate pan gently heat some milk (200ml) and caster sugar (50 g) with a muslin bag of flavourings – in this case I used elderflowers and rose petals. As soon as it has nearly come to the boil stir, take off the heat, squeeze the bag out and remove from the milk.

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Take the boiled sea-weed and strain through a double layer of dishcloth or muslin. You will need washing up gloves because of the heat of the mixture, squeeze and twist the cloth with the bundle of seaweed over the milk – whisk/stir in frequently. Once this is done, immediately add 200ml of double cream and gently whisk it together. Then pour quickly into some darioles, cups or whatever you think you can put them in (silicon cup cake baking trays are good). Place in fridge and leave to set for a few hours. This recipe was inspired by John Wright’s Edible Seashore

Serve with a fruit compote or jus.


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