Osmanthus Scented Panna Cotta: A Recipe

Tiny, golden flowers so small but so intensely perfumed, Shanghai's osmanthus season lasts only a few short autumn weeks, the last blossoms falling from the trees as November draws in. I returned from the far west to find it was almost over, with just a few of the topmost branches of the trees outside my window still holding flowers.

This year I was inspired to bring the gorgeous perfume of the osmanthus flower into a creamy dessert because osmanthus, Chinese as it is, is destined to be paired with cream. Osmanthus scented cream has a subtle honey floral scent and flavour, like the featherweight orange blossoms with rose petals. It's incredible. So rather than get too tricky, this panna cotta is nothing but cream and flowers with a touch of vanilla. Sigh...

Osmanthus Scented Panna Cotta

Makes 6


My lovely flowering osmanthus tree. OK, so it's not my tree, and it's not even in my garden. But if it's quite dark who can tell if I'm sneaking around snipping off flowers, right? And the scent....

For extra sweetness, drizzle over some honey just before serving. 

This post is dedicated to RB, a friend back home who has just bought her first osmanthus tree. Fingers crossed it grows well in Australia!

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