The recipe for this Vanilla Pannacotta with Rosé Syrup is a playful combination of pannacotta and pavlova, two of my favourite summer desserts. The inspiration comes from La Motte’s joyous Vin de Joie Rosé, a blushingly delicate wine, imbued with notes of nectarine, melon, Turkish delight and rose petals. The pannacotta is cautiously sweetened, relying rather on the glossy Rosé Syrup and fruity salsa to uplift and contrast its rich, creamy texture.
While the recipe is intended for an intimate Valentine’s dinner for two, the recipe serves 6. You can of course, halve the quantity to suit the occasion or add it to your dessert repertoire for the next dinner party. It’s also the kind of dessert you want to make if you like your ducks in a row when hosting. Make ahead recipes, like this, are undemanding and perfect for sitting in the fridge, patiently waiting for their moment to shine.
There are several steps to making this Vanilla Pannacotta but, rather than be prescriptive, the ‘extras’ are a matter of personal choice. As with most of the recipes here on the blog, or in my cookbooks, there are toppings, sprinkles and textural elements that elevate the experience. As my grandmother used to say, in for a penny, in for a pound. I’m following her lead.
I love the play of contrasts to keep things interesting and unexpected, but most importantly, completely delicious. It’s worth noting that when making a turned out pannacotta, the texture needs to be firm enough to hold it’s shape. If too soft and wobbly, the whole affair will go pear-shaped in minutes. Here, I’ve used 12.5 ml gelatine powder and it holds together perfectly. If you’re after more of a wobble, reduce the gelatine to 10 ml (2 teaspoons) but then, set in dessert glasses or little pots.
If you’re up for the meringue shards, it’s probably a good idea to prepare them night before. One egg white is hardly work, really. I use my hand-held mixer as there’s no need for big dishes. The following day, I dust the blank meringue canvas with freeze-dried strawberries dust. It adds a lovely fruity edge, somewhat tart, but unmistakably, strawberry. You’ll find freeze-dried strawberries at all Woolworths stores.
Cook’s Note: Although a cold dessert, I leave the pannacottas on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving, just enough time to take the chill off and allow the flavours to bloom. Pair with a very chilled glass of La Motte Vin de Joie Rosé.
12. 5 ml gelatine powder
45 ml water
500 ml (2 cups) fresh cream
70 g castor sugar
125 g (1/2 cup) crème fraîche
a small pinch of fine salt
7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) vanilla paste or extract
1 egg white
a pinch of fine salt
30 g castor sugar
15 g icing sugar, sifted, plus 5 ml extra for the strawberry dust
1 packet freeze dried strawberries (Woolworths)
300 ml La Motte Rosé Vin de Joie Rosé
50 g castor sugar
15 ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) rosewater (optional)
Nectarine and Melon Salsa
1 yellow-fleshed nectarine, cut into small dice
2 slices melon, cut into small dice
10 ml lemon juice
Starting with the pannacotta, place the water in small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Stir gently then stand for 2 -3 minutes.
In the meanwhile, combine the cream and sugar in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved and the cream hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the crème fraîche.
Heat the gelatin to dissolve, then add to the cream mixture along with the salt and vanilla. Whisk well to combine.
Pour the cream mixture into 6 ramekins or dariole moulds. Place on a tray and chill overnight.
For the meringue shards, preheat the oven to 100 º C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Whisk the egg white and salt until foamy. Add the castor sugar gradually, whisking well until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue holds its shape. Fold through the icing sugar. Spread onto the baking sheet to a thickness of about 4 mm. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
Place the freeze-dried strawberries and icing sugar in a processor. Blitz until powdery and fine. Sift the strawberry powder over the cooled meringue, then snap into shards.
To make the syrup, place the La Motte Vin de Joie Rosé, castor sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Reduce over a high heat for about 15-17 minutes until syrupy. Add the rose water if using, and stir through. The reduced volume should measure about 90 ml. Set aside to cool completely.
For the salsa, combine the diced fruit and lemon juice together. Keep chilled.
Just before serving, dip the base of each ramekin in hot water for several seconds. Invert onto a small plate. Drizzle the syrup over the pannacotta, top with salsa and finish with the meringue shards and a little more strawberry dust.
Hello, I’m Di
Welcome to my kitchen, a creative gathering place where meals are shared with family and friends, celebrating life and nurturing our connectivity.
Purchase my eBook “Beautiful Home Food – Recipes From Bibby’s Kitchen” here.