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Sweet Basil Panna Cotta
Over 2 hours

This basil panna cotta recipe provides a fragrant, intriguing twist on the classic Italian dish. Chef Oliver Gladwin is a champion of desserts, so save some room when you next visit The Shed: "We were brought up with the rule that puddings were the treat at the end of a meal, which you only got when you finished your main course. These days it is for some reason fashionable in London restaurants to say ‘I couldn’t possibly’ then skip dessert and just have a coffee. To me they are all missing out
 on a treat, and at The Shed we make a big deal of encouraging our guests to have something sweet at the end of their dinner.

This is a lovely spring or summertime dessert, perfect with rhubarb compote or mixed berries. The pungent, herby flavour of basil beautifully complements the richness of the panna cotta to create an unusual but harmonious eating sensation."

Recipe courtesy of
  • 2 sheets of bronze leaf gelatine
  • 600ml double cream
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 large sprigs of basil, plus 6 individual leaves to garnish

You will need 6 small glasses or 100ml dariole moulds

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  1. Put the gelatine in a small dish, cover with cold water and set aside to soak.
  2. Meanwhile, put the cream, sugar and basil sprigs in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a moderate heat. Just before the mixture comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, bring the infused cream back up to the boil, and then strain it through a sieve into a clean bowl. Squeeze the basil sprigs with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much of the flavour as possible before discarding them.
  4. Gently squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine, add to the hot infused cream and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the mixture into individual glasses or dariole moulds and transfer them to the fridge to set for 2–3 hours or preferably overnight.
  5. To serve, turn out of the moulds and garnish with basil leaves. Accompany with some fresh fruit, if you wish.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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