Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Gooseberry Compote


I know I mentioned before that I have soft spot for berries. Anything that ends with the word ‘berries’ catches my attention. As usual, I was on the way home and I stopped by M&S, with an intention to buy some fresh fruits. I walked near to the fruits section and scanned through the shelves. Then, I saw a few clear packets ofΒ fruits that look like grapes but aren’t really grapes.

So, I took a closer look and it reads red gooseberries on the label. Oh wow! I love the green gooseberries but haven’t seen the red ones. Without thinking much, I securely grabbed 2 packets and went straight to the till. I had started to think what to use them for. Though, not an expert in dessert making, I always love something that is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. Something that can be presented nicely and great for mid-week!


Panna cotta came to my mind. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert. It is nothing complicated at all. Main ingredients are milk, cream and gelatine. Of course, then you could use vanilla or elderflower, for example, to tone up the taste a little bit. To make it even nicer to look and eat, it is always served with berries, fruit coulis, caramel, or whatever you want, really. Since summer means berries, to me, I thought the red gooseberries compote would go pretty well. Though we don’t get a really nice summer this year in Britain, at least, I hope this dessert will make me feel less depressed when the sun decides to play hide and seek!



Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Gooseberry Compote

Yield: 4 persons


For the panna cotta:
250ml milk
250ml double cream
20g sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
3 gelatine leaves

For the red gooseberry compote:
500g red gooseberry
80g sugar


1. Combine the milk, double cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Split vanilla pod and scrape seeds out into cream mixture, add to the mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil then turn off heat immediately and allow flavours to infuse for half an hour. Remove vanilla pod.

2. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 minutes, until soft and floppy, then squeeze out excess water. Reheat cream mixture to warm, add gelatine and stir well until dissolved. Pour the mixture into 4 small moulds, such as ramekins. Then, leave to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, put in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours, until set.

4. To make the compote, put the red gooseberries in a pan with the sugar and 50ml of water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft. Leave to cool completely and chill.

5. To turn out the panna cottas, dip each mould very briefly in hot water for a few seconds – then turn upside down on to a serving plate and give it a shake. Run a knife around the edge if necessary. Serve with gooseberry compote.