Chocolate panna cotta. Picture: Steve Lawrence

Use either powdered or leaf gelatine for any of these recipes. Each leaf of gelatine is equivalent to 2ml of powdered gelatine.

POWDERED GELATINE: Sprinkle on to the quantity of water, allow to absorb and become spongy, then dissolve in the microwave for 10 seconds, taking care that the mixture does not boil.

LEAF GELATINE: Submerge the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water until they become softened. Remove and squeeze out the excess water before adding to a warm liquid to dissolve completely.



This savoury panna cotta makes an ideal starter

Makes 5

250ml cream

125ml basil leaves

8 gelatine leaves soaked in cold water

250ml Greek yoghurt

salt and pepper

Tomato salsa

125 baby tomatoes, quartered

1 red onion, chopped

60ml chopped basil

45ml olive oil

salt and pepper

a pinch of sugar

Combine the cream and basil leaves in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree the mixture well. It will now turn a pastel shade of green. Remove the softened gelatine leaves from the water, allowing the excess water to drain off, and add to the cream while still warm. Stir until dissolved. Add the yoghurt and some seasoning. Divide the mixture among six greased moulds and refrigerate until set. Unmould on to serving plates and serve with tomato salsa.

TOMATO SALSA: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.



Makes 6

250ml cream

250ml milk

60ml castor sugar

150g dark chocolate, chopped

3 gelatine leaves soaked in cold water

chocolate curls


Put the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Remove from heat and add the sugar and chocolate.

Stir until melted and smooth. Remove the softened gelatine leaves and drain.

Add to the cream mixture and stir until dissolved.

Divide among 6 x 100ml greased moulds and refrigerate until set.

Unmould on to plates and serve with chocolate curls and strawberries.



Makes 6

400g can of coconut cream

125ml cream

125ml castor sugar

5ml rose essence

A drop of pink food colouring

8ml gelatine

25ml water

fresh coconut to serve

pieces of Turkish Delight to serve

Combine the coconut cream, cream and sugar in a saucepan and heat to just boiling.

Remove from the heat and stir in the essence and colouring.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and leave until absorbed.

Dissolve in the microwave on high for 10 seconds and stir gelatine into the cream mixture.

Divide the mixture into six greased moulds and refrigerate until set.

Unmould and garnish with slices of coconut and Turkish Delight.



Makes 4 to 5

250ml fresh cream

125ml castor sugar

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed

10ml gelatine

30ml water

250ml thick Greek yoghurt

Chocolate sauce

100g dark chocolate, chopped

60ml fresh cream

Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla seeds and pod in a small pot. Heat to just under boiling point. Remove and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod.

Sprinkle gelatine over water and set aside until absorbed and spongy. Microwave for 10 seconds on full power until dissolved.

Stir into the cream mixture.

Cool mixture and fold in yoghurt. Spoon into greased individual moulds and refrigerate until set.

Unmould and serve drizzled with chocolate sauce and fresh fruit.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE: Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until melted and smooth.

Cool before drizzling over the puddings.


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Saturday Star