This easy panna cotta recipe from Karen Martini’s latest cookbook Everyday is the perfect summer dessert to serve at holiday parties or relaxed get-togethers. The crunchy biscotti crumbled over the top provides great texture to the luscious custard-like dessert.

I am head over heels in love with this flavour combination. The scorched lemon syrup brings a bitter hint that is a perfect accent to the sweet richness of the panna cotta – Karen Martini.

Everyday by Karen Martini, published by Pan Macmillan, RRP $39.95.

Serves: 10


3 1/2 gold-strength gelatine sheets
750 ml cream
370 ml milk
120 g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 rosemary sprigs
biscotti, to serve

Scorched Lemon Syrup

250 g caster sugar
zest and juice of 5 lemons (approximately 350 ml of juice) with the zest added to the juice


1. Soak the gelatine in very cold water for 1 minute.

2. Combine the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and rosemary in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until just starting to simmer. Remove from the heat.

3. Drain the gelatine and squeeze out any water. Drop the gelatine into the cream mixture and stir well. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Pour into ten 120-ml plastic panna cotta moulds, fill to 1 cm below the top, cool, cover and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.

4. To make the lemon syrup, put the sugar into a heavy-based, scrupulously clean medium–large saucepan and heat over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally to help dissolve the sugar, for 8 minutes until a dark caramel.

5. Remove from the heat and carefully add the lemon juice and zest (the very hot caramel will splatter). Let the sizzle subside a little. Stir and return to the heat and

bring to a simmer, continuously stirring until the syrup residue on the bottom of the pan has been incorporated into the sauce. Take off the heat, pour into a clean jar and chill.

6. To turn out the panna cotta, tip each mould to one side to create an air pocket, rotate the mould and invert onto a plate. You should not need to dip in hot water. However, if you have trouble with getting them out with this method, dip the mould in boiling water for 30 seconds and they should slip out easily.

7. Spoon the cooled lemon syrup over and around the plate and serve sprinkled with crushed biscotti.