This creamy panna cotta is made entirely of full fat cream, so it’s a pretty decadent but you know it tastes delicious. The accompanying cherry compote is rich, fruity and it has a flavour of Christmas for me (perhaps it’s the brandy in it!). I made the panna cotta’s quite small as they are devishly rich. However it does serve as a small but perfect dessert that is sure to impress. The mint on top is apple mint and is just to decorate and give a nice minty aroma. This is a super easy pud to make, twenty minutes to make and totally foolproof. However, you will need at least three hours to set the panna cotta or leave it covered in the fridge overnight. It’s a great easy dinner party dessert that you can make in advance and wow your guests!

Here’s how:

– 300ml of double cream
– 25g of castor sugar
– 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder
– 1 teaspoon of water
– few drops of vanilla extract

Cherry compote

– 150 g of fresh cherries de-stoned
– 30g of granulated sugar
– squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
– 1 teaspoon of brandy
– 20ml of water
– Zest of half an orange
– ¼ teaspoon of arrowroot

Butter 4 small ramekins or dariole moulds. Place the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat. When the cream is just about to boil and all the sugar is dissolved, take the pot off the heat. In a glass bowl dissolve the granules of gelatine in the teaspoon of water. Put some boiling water into a saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Place the glass bowl with the gelatine over the saucepan of boiling water. Heat until all the gelatine has melted and becomes sticky and translucent. Take one dessert spoon of the warmed cream and mix into the melted gelatine. Once it is well mixed in add the rest of the cream and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture into your prepared ramekins and leave to cool. Once cool, cover the ramekins with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

To make the cherry compote, pit the cherries and place in a saucepan with the water. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until tender. You might need to add a smidgen more water, it depends on how juicy the cherries are. Next add the sugar, brandy, orange zest and lemon juice. Continue to cook until the cherries are soft and mushy. Add the arrowroot to thicken.

When you are ready to serve and the panna cotta is set, remove from the fridge. Place the bottom of the mould in a bowl of boiling water for just a few brief seconds. Dip a sharp knife into the boiling water. Trace the edges of the panna cotta with the sharp knife and remove by up-ending the ramekin onto a plate. Place a small spoonful of the compote on the side. If you don’t like cherries, you could equally serve this dessert with rhubarb, strawberry, apricot, blackcurrant and lots of other compotes.