Christmas Panna Cotta

This recipe was featured in the Fat Bastards Hairy Bikers ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ which aired late last year. We have gradually warmed to these two over the years, so when they signed off saying ‘if you only cook one thing this Christmas, make sure it is this Panna Cotta’, we knew we had to take their hairy advice.

Christmas Panna Cotta

Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: 6
Recipe: David Myers and Simon King aka The Hairy Bikers


  • double cream – 500ml
  • caster sugar – 4 tbsp
  • 3½ gelatine sheets
  • raisins – 2 tbsp
  • dark rum – 2 tbsp
  • ground ginger – ¼ tsp
  • ground allspice – ¼ tsp
  • ground nutmeg – to taste
  • 1 small handful berries, such as redcurrants, to serve

Christmas Panna Cotta

Place the raisins into a small bowl and cover with the rum. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water until softened. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid using your hands.

In a heavy-based pan, heat the double cream, sugar and ground spices. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking until the sugar has dissolved.


Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the drained gelatine until dissolved. Drain the raisins and stir into the cream mixture (discard the soaking liquid).

Spoon the mixture into six moulds or ramekins. Set aside to cool completely, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or until set.

To serve, dip the ramekins briefly into hot water to loosen each panna cotta and turn out onto serving plates. Scatter over some redcurrants to garnish.

Christmas Panna Cotta

Verdict: As we were at our Christmas residence in Berlin there were no ramekins, so a single bowl had to be employed; it took a little longer to extricate the Cotta from this receptacle but nonetheless it popped out in the end. The dessert was well set and super rich. The suggested portions are undoubtedly correct so if you see what you deem to be a small portion in front of you, fear not, you will be sated. The spices with the rum and the raisins give it the flavour of a delightfully creamy Christmas pudding, though obviously there needn’t be any seasonal constraints on its consumption

Drink: Don’t forget to knock back the raisin infused rum.

Entertainment: The Bickering of the Sisters, an occasional event that is literally not a joy to behold, even for the participants, doesn’t even require the fuel of alcohol, but the presence of a parent is usually sufficient as a catalyst.

1 Comment

  1. Our family shares your tradition, too! After the Bickering of the Sisters, there is the Hurling of the Cutlery, often culminating in the Calling of the Police.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: