In collaboration with delicious.magazine and funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk, chef and cook book author Yvette van Boven has created a dessert that is almost too beautiful to eat. With the rose as the radiant centerpiece, this is the perfect pudding to round off any romantic spring evening.
What you need (serves 6)
- preparation approx. 30 minutes / setting time approx. 8 hours / infusing syrup approx. 1/2 day
Note: start preparing this dish the morning before the meal, because the panna cotta needs to set and the syrup needs to infuse
2 sheets gelatine
205ml crème fraîche
1 sachet vanilla sugar
200ml double cream
5 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp rosewater
rose and carnation petals as decoration*
lavender syrup (250 - 300ml)
2 tbsp dried lavender (healthfood shop)
you will also need: 6 moulds (e.g. espresso cups), lightly greased with neutral oil, oven dish
honeycomb made from wildflower honey
1 tbsp sunflower oil
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp wildflower honey
1 tbsp baking soda
How to make it
Soak the gelatine in plenty of cold water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the crème fraîche with the vanilla sugar close to boil, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the hob, allow to dissolve thoroughly and cool down to almost cold.
Loosely whip the cream with the icing sugar and the rosewater. Stir the crème fraîche mixture through the cream, and pour the cream mix into the moulds. Place in the fridge for six hours to set. Panna cotta must remain a little wobbly and not become too rigid. After turning it out they must just retain their shape. For the syrup add the sugar and the lavender to 200ml water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, and remove from the hob. Leave to stand for half a day so that the lavender can infuse into the syrup. Pour the syrup through a sieve into a clean bottle or jar.
For the honeycomb, lightly grease an oven dish with sunflower oil. Combine the sugar, honey and 1 tbsp water in a thick-based saucepan. Gently melt the mixture on medium heat, turn the heat down and allow the sugar to caramelize to a light, tea-coloured syrup. Remove from the hob and add the baking soda in one go and beat very hard (careful: hot!).
The caramel will foam vigorously - it’s supposed to! Poor the foaming mixture directly into a greased oven dish (approx. 15 x 20cm) and leave to cool. Don’t taste it yet - it will be really hot. You have been warned!
Break the cooled honeycomb into large pieces.
Place the moulds in very hot water and count to 10 or 20, place a plate over the top and carefully turn out. Pour some lavender syrup over the top, sprinkle with rose petals and honeycomb. Place fresh edible flowers on top.
Eat honeycomb fairly soon after it has cooled, or in any case within 1 day. If the air is damp, it will soon collapse and become sticky. In any case store it in an airtight container.
*One more thing: never tuck in to just any (cut) flower or plant; only use edible flowers from specialist suppliers that have been grown for human consumption.