This is the very last word in wild-food desserts and something of a revelation for those who cannot believe that seaweed could actually be useful in the kitchen. If elder flowers are out of season you can use elder flower cordial, or infuse the milk with a split vanilla pod or two and make a vanilla panna cotta instead. The quantities given here make enough to fill six small coffee cups or darioles.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 25 g dried or 80 g fresh Carragheen
- 200 ml milk
- 50 g caster sugar
- 12 elderflower heads, flowers stripped with a fork
- 200 ml double cream
- If you are using dried Carragheen, soak it in cold water for 20 minutes.
- Pour 600 ml water into a saucepan, add the Carragheen and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the milk into another pan and add the sugar, along with the elder flowers held in a muslin bag. Heat slowly until the liquid is about to boil, then remove from the heat and take out the flowers.
- Spoon the hot, sticky (and strangely aromatic) mess from the Carragheen pan on to a large double layer of muslin. Don some clean rubber gloves you will need them badly. Gather up the muslin and hold it over the infused milk. Squeeze tightly to extract the setting agent from the Carragheen through the muslin into the milk, whisking at frequent intervals.
- Lightly whisk the cream into the mixture, then quickly pour into darioles or cups. Refrigerate until set (you won’t have to wait long).