Dessert at Night


Measurement / Ingredient

Coffee panna cotta
140 ml heavy cream
100 ml full cream milk
15 ml unflavoured granulated gelatine
50 ml water (for saturation)
75 g caster sugar
4 heeped tsp strong coffee granules
2.5 ml vanilla extract
1 ml salt
Chocolate soil & almund brittle shards
35 g Chocolate
50 g caster sugar
15 ml water
100 g granulated sugar
50 g butter
60 ml water
50 g almond shavings (raw)
Rosewater spheres
50 ml Rosewater
10 g caster sugar
5 ml Unflavoured granulated gelatine
15 ml Water (for saturation)
As needed Cooking oil
Chocolate twigs & crystallised leaves
50 g dark chocolate
15 g cacao powder
1 egg white
1 handful fennel leaves (fresh)
25 g Caster sugar


Dessert at Night –Coffee Panna Cotta coated in chocolate soil, seved with almond brittle shards, frosted fennel leaves, rose-water pearls and dark chocolate twigs.

I chose this dish because of all the food I love to cook, I have a soft spot for cold desserts. It was also my first fine dining dessert creation. The dish was inspired by Martin Benn’s “Chocolate forest flavour”, a dish that appeared on MasterChef Australia in 2014. When I laid my eyes on it I fell in love and dreamt of constructing my own version of the mesmerizing dessert. I thought it only fitting to choose this as my signature dish.

  1. Panna Cotta
  2. • To make the panna cotta, soak the gelatine in water. Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepan.
  3. • Add the caster sugar and stir until dissolved.

  4. • Then add the vanilla extract.
  5. • Add the saturated gelatine to the mixture and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  6. • Add the coffee granules and salt and stir until dissolved. Take care to never let the mixture boil.
  7. • Strain the mixture through a sieve into (unreadable word) moulds.
  8. • Leave to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  9. • When unmoulding the panna cotta, put the base of the mould just above boiling water for approximately 8 seconds and tip onto the plate, or try to pry the panna cotta from the edges with your fingers and slide it out of the mould.
  10. Chocolate Soil
  11. • To make the chocolate soil, heat the caster sugar and water in a pan.
  12. • Finely chop the chocolate.
  13. • Remove the pan from the heat when the mixture turns medium brown.
  14. • Mix the chocolate into the syrup and empty onto the silicone mat as (unreadable word) possible.
  15. • Once completely set grind the mixture to a fine soil in a mortar and pestle.
  16. Almond Brittle:
  17. • To make the almond brittle, melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the water and the sugar.
  18. • Boil the mixture until golden brown, and then add the almonds.
  19. • Pour the mixture onto a silicone mat and spread thinly before it sets. Snap into shards once set.
  20. Rosewater spheres:
  21. • To make the rosewater spheres, pour oil into a kidney tray or cake tin until 1⁄4 of it is filled and refrigerate.
  22. • Saturate the gelatine and heat rosewater in a saucepan, just below simmering.
  23. • Dissolve the gelatine and the caster sugar in the rosewater.
  24. • Remove the rosewater from the saucepan and allow cooling.
  25. • Remove the oil from the fridge and add droplets of the rosewater mixture into the oil using a pipette or syringe.
  26. • Leave to set (unreadable word followed by another unreadable word)
  27. Chocolate twigs:
  28. • To make the chocolate twigs, sift half the cocoa powder onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  29. • Then temper the chocolate by heating it to 46 ̊C (use only half the chocolate).

  30. • Remove from the double boiler and stir in the rest of the chocolate to cool it down to 27 ̊C.
  31. • Finally heat it back up to 31 ̊C (never higher than 33 ̊C) and pour into a piping bag.

  32. • Cut a very small tip and pipe twig formations on the sifted cocoa.

  33. • Sift the rest of the cocoa powder over the piped twigs.
  34. Crystalized leaves:
  35. • To make the crystallised leaves, whisk egg whites to just loosen them up a bit.
  36. • Brush the fennel leaves (unreadable word) the egg whites to (unreadable word) then, but do not let the leaflets stick together.
  37. • Sift the caster sugar over the fennel leaves and put it in the fridge to set

Pairing: Zorgvliet Richelle

Zorgvliet Richelle - The wine enters the mouth with silky and creamy tannins building to a focused yet elegant mid palate. The flavors and aromas remind of black cherries and violets with a touch of graphite. The finish is long and lingering with notes of mocha and chocolate.

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