White Chocolate and Cardamom Panna Cotta

This dessert does have quite a few steps, but is definitely worth it.


  • Panna Cotta:
  • 125ml full fat milk
  • 125ml double cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon, thick strips
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 40g white chocolate
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • Strawberry jelly:
  • 150g strawberries
  • 1/2tbl water
  • 1/4tbl sugar
  • 1 tbl agar agar
  • 85 ml pink champagne
  • Meringues:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 113g caster sugar
  • Ice-cream:
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 88ml water
  • 1/2tbsp vodka
  • 63g mascarpone



Panna cotta:
Heat the milk, sugar, cardamom, zest, vanilla pod (with its seeds removed) until scalded.
Take off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes.
Soak the gelatine in cold water.
Strain the mixture, return to a low heat and add the cream while warming it through.
Gradually whisk in the white chocolate until melted.
Lift the gelatine leaves from the water and add to the mixture.
Pour into glasses to set and chill for at least one hour before pouring the jelly on top.
The panna cotta needs about 3 hours in total to set.

Hull and quarter the strawberries.
Pop them into a pan with the water and the sugar.
Bring them to a gentle simmer until they release colour and soften.
Strain and push gently through a sieve, discard the rest of the fruit.
Place back into the pan and sprinkle with the agar agar.
Heat without stirring and then simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flakes dissolve.
Add the champagne and, once cooled, pour into the glasses over the pan cotta.
Leave in the fridge to set (15-20 minutes).
The panna cotta needs about 3 hours in total to set.

Mini meringues:
Preheat oven to 110°C and line a baking sheet with a non-stick parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and dry.
Once by one, add a tablespoon of sugar for each egg white and whisk after each addition until stiff.
Add half the remaining sugar and whisk in (localised whisking) until it turns shiny and glossy.
Add the rest of the sugar and gently fold in.
Pipe mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until the meringues lift off easily of the paper.
Leave to cool.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil for 2 minutes, leave to cool.
Add the vodka.
Whip the syrup into the mascarpone and
Churn in an ice cream maker
To make by hand, freeze for 2 hours in a freezer safe container, stirring with a fork every 30 minutes to break up any ice-crystals.