Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry Couli

Photo of Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry Couli by Mario

Hi food lovers!

Recently we have posted a recipe for Avocado & Cocoa Mousse with Fresh Mango, and we thought we could share with you another recipe for an ‘unusual dessert’ 🙂

This week we are going to do a classic Italian dessert – Panna Cotta – but with a twist! We will flavour it with basil. The herb itself is a tender plant, which means that, for culinary purposes, the leaves don’t have to be discarded from the dish before serving (for example like with rosemary). In the case of my Basil Panna Cotta recipe, leaves are simply blended with cooked cream and sugar mixture, giving away all of its fantastic flavours.

To accompany Panna Cotta we have a Strawberry Couli, which slight acidity cuts through the sweetness and creaminess of Panna Cotta quite well, bonding all of those beautiful flavours into a mouth watering treat 🙂

Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and dietary minerals.

Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry Couli

Prep time: 30 minutes + setting time

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes + setting time

Serves 2

Recipe by Bill


For Panna Cotta

  • 125 ml double cream
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 15 g basil leaves
  • 75 g Mascarpone
  • 75 ml double cream, whipped (soft peaks)
  • 1 gelatine leaf, soaked or 1 level tsp agar agar (see notes)

For Strawberry Couli

  • 100 g strawberries
  • 10 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp still mineral water


  • Fresh strawberries and basil leaves for garnish (as much as you like)


Panna Cotta

  1. Bring double cream and sugar to the boil, then add gelatine and stir, making sure the sugar and gelatine have dissolved completely. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Pour the liquid into a blender (use rubber spatula to scrape it all in), add basil and blitz for a couple of minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl (again, use the rubber spatula), add Mascarpone and whisk it in.
  4. Add whipped cream to the mixture and fold it in using rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the mixture into two moulds (see notes), cover with cling film and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Strawberry Couli

  1. While Panna Cotta is setting in the fridge, let’s do the strawberry couli.
  2. Put strawberries, icing sugar and mineral water into a blender and blitz together until smooth.
  3. Transfer into a jar, put the lid on and keep in the fridge until needed.

To serve

  1. Once Panna Cotta is set, take it out of the fridge. Submerge the moulds in a container or measuring jug with hot water for several seconds (see notes).
  2. Take the moulds out of the container/measuring jug, flip them upside down onto a plate/bowl, tap the bottom and remove the moulds, leaving Panna Cotta on the plate/bowl.
  3. Drizzle Panna Cottas with strawberry couli, garnish with fresh strawberries and basil leaves, and enjoy!


Photo of Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry Couli by Mario
  • My recipe for Panna Cotta makes approx. 300 ml of liquid.
  • When submerging the moulds in hot water, make sure the water doesn’t overflow the moulds and run into the Panna Cotta.
  • When using gelatine, break the leaf into four pieces and soak in 100 ml of cold water, approx. for 5 minutes, then drain, gently squeeze any excess water and it’s ready to use. Discard the water.
  • If you would like this recipe to be vegetarian, use agar agar rather than gelatine. No need to soak, just add it to cream and sugar before bringing to the boil – the powder dissolves very easily.
  • Rather than moulds, you can use ramekins, cappuccino cups or glass goblets – that way you won’t have to take the Panna Cotta out and if they are high enough, you can pour strawberry couli on top of the Panna Cotta.

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