Sweet and tangy panna cotta with balsamic macerated strawberries

Vanilla panna cotta with balsamic macerated strawberries is ideal for any occasion, from a romantic dinner to a summer garden party.

Panna cotta, which translates to “cooked cream” in Italian, is a classic Italian dessert known for its creamy, custard-like texture. To elevate the vanilla panna cotta, we turn to a timeless culinary technique: maceration.

Fresh, juicy strawberries are gently tossed with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar. This process not only intensifies the strawberry flavour but also imparts a delightful tanginess that cuts through the richness of the panna cotta. Recipe compliments of Safari Vinegar.

Preparation time: 35 mins prep, 4 hours setting time | Cooking time: 5 mins | Serves: 4


  • Panna cotta:
  • 400ml cream
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste / extract
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 ½ gelatine leaves OR 2 ½ tsp Sheridan’s powdered gelatine
  • Strawberries:
  • 250g strawberries, sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Safari Cape Rosa Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar


  • For the panna cotta:
  • Place the milk and cream in a medium sized saucepan with the sugar.
  • Slice and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod.
  • Add the seeds and the pod to the saucepan.
  • Heat the cream mixture until steaming. Do not boil. Switch off the heat.
  • Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water and allow to soften.
  • Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and place in the warm cream. Whisk to dissolve.
  • Strain the cream mixture into a jug and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cool, distribute the mixture between 4 ramekins or glasses.
  • Stir the mixture as you pour into each ramekin to evenly distribute the vanilla.
  • Transfer to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
  • For the strawberries:
  • Place the strawberries in a bowl. Scatter with sugar and drizzle with the Safari Cape Rosa Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Leave to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate until serving.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edges of the panna cottas.
  • Dip the ramekins in warm water for a few seconds before carefully turning out onto a plate.
  • If serving in a glass keep them as is.
  • Serve the panna cottas with generous spoonfuls of balsamic macerated strawberries and enjoy.

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