The Hairy Bikers' panna cotta

(86 ratings)
Hairy Bikers Christmas panacotta 9 Dec
Hairy Bikers Christmas panacotta 9 Dec
  • Makes: 6

  • Prep time:

    (may need extra time to set)
  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

This panna cotta recipe by the Hairy Bikers is set to be a family favourite - it's creamy, festive, spicy and the perfect alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding if you're looking for a dessert that's a bit different for the big day. It'll take a little bit of prep time to get your panna cotta recipe up and ready to serve but it's well worth the extra effort, especially if you're planning on hosting a special meal. And the best bit about this lovely panna cotta recipe is that it's totally preparable in advance, so even though it takes a little while to make you can have it all ready and out of the way before your guests arrive. In fact, these lovely desserts will keep perfectly well in the fridge for up to around three days.


  • 3½ gelatine sheets
  • 500ml double cream
  • 4tbsp caster sugar
  • ½tsp ground ginger
  • ¼tsp ground allspice
  • ¼tsp ground nutmeg, or to taste
  • ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp raisins
  • 2tbsp dark rum
  • A small handful of berries, to serve

Serve with redcurrants for a really festive finish


  1. First leave the raisins to soak in the rum for about half an hour.
  2. Soak the gelatine in a little cold water until soft.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium sized saucepan bring the cream, sugar and spices to a boil. Simmer for two to three mins, whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and dissolve it in the cream mixture whilst off the heat.
  5. Drain the raisins, stir into the mixture and discard the soaking liquid.
  6. Share out evenly into six moulds or ramekins, leave to cool completely, then place the panna cottas into the refrigerator to set solid.
  7. When ready for serving, quickly dip the ramekins into hot water to slightly loosen the panna cottas, then pop them out onto a serving plate. The rummy raisins will have settled to the top. Serve with some seasonal berries.
This recipe is taken from the Hairy Bikers' 12 days of Christmas special, BBC2 at 9pm, on Wednesday 16th December 2009.

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  • 4
(86 ratings)

Your comments


What can I use instead of alcohol?


I have just tried an extra taster one and had to almost chew it.I dont know how to salvage them for tonights dinner party.I think the only way is remake some more with only 2 sheets of gelatine.


Agree with everyone about the quantity of gelatine, a panacotta should only just be able to support itself. The idea of discarding that raisin infused rum is absurd! Drink it, it's delicious. A real chef's treat and reason enough to do this recipe. Brilliant flavours. Well done HBs.


BE AWARE .... Far far too much gelatine in this recipe. I made these early dec. as a try out for Christmas. They turned out like creamy coloured rubber. Did them again on christmas eve cutting the gelatine down to 2 sheets and it was still too thick. What a waste of good ingredients . Would like to hear what dave and si have to say.


Wish I'd seen these comments before I made these as agree there was far too much gelatin in there. Was first time ever using gelatin so was v particular about following recipe exactly except decided there wasn't enough rum to soak the raisins so added a few gluts more. To speed up the absorption process warmed the rains and rum in the saucepan over a low light. Much easier than leaving them overnight if you're short of time. Were lovely though and guests were very happy to eat them.

Brenda Barker

I agree with Lucy, could have replaced bike tyres with this texture! LOL Might try it with some of the above tips. Great flavour though. Thanx HB.

Charlotte Bryan

I made these on Christmas day for pudding last year. I did a dry run and found them quite stiff with all double cream, so I substituted 2/3 with single cream and they not only came out the ramekins easier but were a lot smoother. Would also definitely advise an overnight soaking for the raisins, I put in double the rum because I like boozy puddings! Delicious though, ideal for after Christmas dinner.

collette clark

this is a fabulous dessert, looks just like the picture too!! tastes devine, really creamy!! My husband made it for xmas day dessert, and we are having it again this sunday! I can see its going to be a family favourite.

Lucy Sadler

Lovely taste but can't agree with the "creamy" description....mine were the texture of galvanised rubber and I had to chisel the last uneaten one off the serving dish the following day. Do gelatin sheets come in different sizes??? Also totally agree that the raisins need an overnight soak. Will try again but with (a lot...) less gelatine.


Wow - these little beauties are just delish! Creamy, smooth and warming with the spices. The rum soaked raisins are a delight. Ta muchly Bairy Hikers!

Pooh Bear

Loved the pannacotta. Made a delicious light pudding instead of normal Christmas pudding. Soaked raisins overnight so they soaked up more rum. Yummy


Excellent! I have just made it for the second time in 2 days! The flavours are wonderful and the raisins are a lovely addition. Have used slightly less gelatine second time round, as they were a bit firm in the middle. Thank you, Hairy Bikers :-)


Had this last night (Boxing Day). Bloody marvellous, easy to make and tasted awesome. Will have again soon. Recommend to anyone.

Chloe Biddle

This was yummy, loved the christmassy flavours. Although half an hour was not nearly long enough to soak the raisins, would go for overnight next time. Also I thought it was too set and would use less gelatine next time.

sally gurden

your recipes are all very delightful and yummy. please keep up the great work, love to you both. sally xx

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