As the seemingly never ending British rain results in plants springing to life, my thoughts turn to foraging. There are so many delicious plants and flowers to forage for in spring. My favourites include elderflower - we have a little while to wait yet, dandelion - which I love to make skincare with, and sweet cicely.
You can find out more about sweet cicely here. Jack and I picked heaps of it last year. With a delicious aniseed flavour, I love its sweet taste to create desserts.
I'm going to share my vegan panna cotta recipe here. Adding foraged flavours is of course optional. This works just as well with its own coconut taste, but you could also add berries, cacao powder or vanilla extract.
If you'd like to make it using sweet cicely, I just tie a bunch and drop the flowers into the saucepan to infuse the coconut milk with a delicious aniseed flavour.
1 tin coconut milk
1 tbsp agar agar powder (here on Amazon)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup (more if you want it really sweet)
Gently warm the coconut oil in a pan, stirring in the agar powder as it heats. The powder needs to dissolve completely. If you're struggling to get it to dissolve, you might need to whisk or blitz it in a blender
Add the maple syrup to sweeten your dessert and the vanilla extract for flavour
Pour into a jelly mould to set. I like using these which are available at Lakeland in the UK
To counter the sweet, milky taste of this dessert I've made a raspberry compote using fresh raspberries and rhubarb. Simply stir 100g raspberries together with 2 stalks of chopped rhubarb in a pan over a low heat. You might need to add a spoonful of maple syrup or coconut sugar for sweetness as the flavour is very tart!