Gastronomixs

Blackberry leaf panna cotta

Guest chef Robin Gill started his career in Dublin, but quickly realised that Dublin wasn't the right city for the level he wanted to reach. He moved to London and learned everything about classic cuisine from Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room***. Robin likes to cook what the seasons bring him. He developed his passion for this in Italy, where he worked at Don Alfonso 1890**. Here, he was taught a different style of cooking, which suited him really well. In 2013, he opened his first restaurant in London, called The Dairy, together with his wife. In the 2.5 years that followed, they opened another three restaurants. Robin currently owns The Dairy, Counter Culture, and Sorella. Since 2017, he has been a judge on the television show MasterChef Ireland and in May 2018 he published a cookbook, entitled Larder. Robin shares three recipes from this brand new book with us!

Robin about this dish: 'In late summer, try flavouring a cream or panna cotta with blackberry leaves, which have a wonderful herbaceous green-tea-like flavour. We sometimes use fig or citrus leaves as an alternative.

Photography by Paul Winch-Furness. Creation by Robin Gill, The Dairy, London, United Kingdom.

Serves 10.

Blackberry leaf panna cotta

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Ingredients

120

g

butter, unsalted, at room temperature

100

g

caster sugar

1

 

egg yolk

2

 

vanilla pods, split open down the middle

150

g

plain flour

½

tsp

fine table salt

5

g

baking powder

½

tsp

black pepper, freshly cracked

2

shopping bags

blackberry leaves, unsprayed

4

sheets

silver leaf gelatin

500

ml

double cream

250

ml

whole milk

75

g

caster sugar

10

g

blackberry leaf powder

50

g

blackberry leaves, unsprayed and rinsed well in a colander

50

ml

olive oil

 

 

fresh blackberries

 

 

an aromatic herb such as sorrel or lemon balm

150

g

blackberries, very ripe

75

g

dextrose

 

 

citric acid

Preparation method: black pepper sablé
  • Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the egg yolk and the seeds scraped from the vanilla pods.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and black pepper and bring together with your hands to form a dough.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece of dough on a lightly-floured surface into a rectangle about 2 millimetre thick and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 195°C
  • Bake the sablé sheets for 10 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool on the trays, then break into random shards.
Preparation method: blackberry leaf powder
  • Rinse the leaves well in a colander under cold running water, then shake or spin dry.
  • In a dehydrator, or your oven set to the lowest heat, dry out the leaves completely – this will take 6–8 hours.
  • Allow to cool, then blend to a fine powder in a blender or food processor.
  • Store in an airtight container in your store cupboard. 
Preparation method: panna cotta
  • Soak the gelatin in cold water to soften it.
  • Drain and squeeze out excess water, then put into a pan with all the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  • Cover and chill the mixture to set. 
Preparation method: blackberry leaf oil
  • Blend the leaves and oil together in a blender or food processor until as smooth as possible.
  • Pour into a pan and bring quickly to the boil over a high heat.
  • As soon as the mixture reaches the boil, remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl set over ice (this will cool the oil quickly and help it retain its bright green colour).
Preparation method: blackberry liquor
  • Put all the ingredients in a pan, bring to a simmer and simmer for 8 minutes or until the fruit has completely broken down.
  • Pass through a fine sieve, pushing down on the fruit so that all the juice passes through.
  • Cool.
Finishing and presentation
  • Whip the panna cotta mixture just to loosen it, then decant into a piping bag.
  • Pipe a round of panna cotta in the bottom of each bowl.
  • Drizzle a little blackberry leaf oil and blackberry liquor into the bottom of the bowl. Garnish with fresh blackberries and whatever herb you have chosen.
  • Serve the sablé biscuits on the side.

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