Parmigiano pannacotta, Marzanino tomato compote, Minus 8 caviar and basil sorbet

Ingredients (serves 4)

Parmigiano pannacottaParmigiano pannacotta

  • 200ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 250g Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 free range egg yolks
  • 4 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water

Marzanino tomato compote

  • 20ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g Marzanino tomatoes
  • 85g red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 20ml tomato vinegar

Basil sorbet

  • 100g basil leaves
  • 50ml water
  • 300g silken tofu
  • Ice

Parmesan and basil crisps

  • 100g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Minus 8 caviar pearls
  • 100g Minus 8 
  • 1.5g agar agar
  • 300ml rapeseed oil, chilled in a receptacle 


  • Micro red basil leaves


Method for the Parmigiano pannacotta

  1. Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan, take off the heat and mix in the grated Parmigiano, stirring well until completely melted; leave to cool slightly.
  2.  Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and pour over the warm cream mixture. Squeeze off the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the cream mixture. Stir well until the gelatine has dissolved then pass through a fine sieve.
  3. Pour into greased dariole moulds and place into a fridge to set.

Method for the Marzanino tomato compote

  1. Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat; add the oil, red onion and garlic and soften (do not brown).
  2. Add the sugar and the vinegar and heat until the liquid has reduced by half.
  3. Add the tomatoes and gently toss until the tomatoes are starting to soften. Season before cooling and refrigerate until required.

Method for the basil sorbet

  1. Using a thermomix, place the basil leaves and sugar into the thermomix bowl and blend on full speed for 1 minute.
  2. Take off the lid and scrape down the sides; add the silken tofu and fill with ice cubes up to the 1.75lt mark.
  3. Gradually turn the speed up to full while using the spatula to stir vigorously for two minutes or until it has reached a smooth consistency.
  4. Transfer the sorbet to a container and freeze before use. When coming to serve, if too hard, place back in thermomix and churn on full speed while stirring with spatula. Alternatively place in a fridge 30 minutes before serving.

Method for the Minus 8 caviar pearls

  1. Start by placing the oil in a tall receptacle in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. It is better if you use a tall glass so there is more time for the balsamic vinegar droplets to get cold and gel before reaching the bottom.
  2. Once the oil has been in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, put the Minus 8 in a saucepan, dissolve the agar agar and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly with a beater. Take off the heat and skim to eliminate any impurities.
  3. Wait a few minutes until the temperature drops to 50-55 °C (around 120-130 °F). If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass resulting in deformed spheres.
  4. Fill a syringe with the hot balsamic agar solution and expel it, drop by drop, into the cold oil. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they come in contact with the oil but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating ‘baby’ spheres.
  5. Wait a few minutes and then carefully remove them from the oil bath using a slotted spoon and rinse them in water. You can keep them in a container in the fridge for later use. Alternatively Freshburst Pearls make a balsamic vinegar product

Method for the parmesan and basil crisps

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and fryer to 190°C. Line a baking tray (1/2 gastro) with a silpat baking sheet and spread the grated parmigiano evenly across the tray. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until all the cheese has melted together and is golden brown.
  2. While the cheese is still warm, transfer to a chopping board and cut out desired shapes for garnish; this will have to be done promptly as the cheese will turn brittle quickly.
  3. Select some nice sized basil leaves and place in deep fryer until they are crisp but still retaining their green colour. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  4. Bring all the components together on plate just before serving and dress with Micro red basil leaf and crisps.