In the Finnish folklore rowan is a holy, life giving tree with magical properties. Most people know that rowan berries are full of vitamins, but what is less known is that the young shoots of leaves have an exquisite taste of amaretto. And this taste can be easily infused in liquid! So far we have made delicious rowan shoot syrup and rowan shoot liqueur, but the biggest success in our rowan-recipe-showdown this spring must be the gorgeous rowan shoot panna cotta. Try this recipe and astonish your friends with your Master Chef -skills

Rowan shoot panna cotta (serves 6)

For this recipe you will need a deciliter of chopped rowan shoots. They are at their best when they are still rather small, mostly unopened and have a silvery white shine to them. Make sure that you pick them from a clean place and have a permit from the land owner. Also, please remember to pick only a couple of shoots per branch to avoid harming the plant!

4dl cream

4dl full-fat milk

1dl (chopped) rowan shoots

vanilla (either a couple of twists from a mill or 1 pod with seeds scraped out)

4 gelatine leaves

4 heaped tablespoons of light cane sugar (we used Dan Sukker organic cane sugar)

6 molds (we just used smallish coffee cups)

Rinse the rowan shoots, pat them dry and chop them up roughly. You should have a desilitre of chopped shoots. Put them in a pan with the cream, milk and vanilla, and set it on a gentle heat. Once the mixture starts to simmer, take it from the heat and leave to infuse & cool down.

When the mixture has cooled completely, prepare the molds by lightly greasing the insides with a neutral tasting oil. Put the gelatine leaves to soak in cold water.

Sieve out the rowan shoots (and vanilla pod, if using) from the cream mixture, and pour it into a clean pan. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Bring to a simmer on a gentle heat, then transfer into a jug (for easier pouring). Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and stir them into the hot cream.

Once the mixture has cooled down a bit (you can stir it slowly to help it cool), pour it into the prepared molds. Chill overnight.

The panna cottas can be eaten from the cups or turned out onto plates. Serve them for instance with pureed or whole raspberries and a thin drizzle of (home made) toffee sauce.

Let us know if you tried it!!!

This recipe is based on a panna cotta recipe from the Good Food Magazine 5/16