Ginger pannacotta with lime syrup – and a big hug for Barbara

20081207 Ginger Pannacotta with lime syrup TitleWeb

The other day, I made a list of things that I am thankful for – and I truly am thankful for all those things.  But there were a couple of omissions from the lists, in the interests of brevity and not boring my readers to tears 😉

One of the things left off the list was this blog, the opportunities it has given me, the things it has taught me, and the people I have met through it.  Some of those people I have met in “real” life and they have become firm friends.  Others, I haven’t met (yet!) but their kindness and generosity across the miles have often stunned me – like the outpouring of love and support when my friend Christelle passed away in 2005; or the big parcel of unsolicited chocolates that Stephanie sent me last year when my friend Peter passed away.  It is this loving and supportive community aspect of blogging that surprised me the most, and it always feels good when you can take your turn and make a difference to a blog friend in need who is going through a rought time.

I have never met Barbara of Winos and Foodies in person, but we have been in touch on and off for two years since she started the Taste of Yellow event to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation‘s LiveStrong day.  Having lost both my two friends mentioned above to cancer, I was instantly attracted to the quiet, positive way in which she had faced her own battle with cancer.  I love her unfussy recipes, her gorgeous pics… and the occasional male nude 😉 And I was devastated to read last month that her cancer had returned and that she has once again started a cycle of chemotherapy.

So when my dear blog friend Bron Marshall got in touch to ask me to participate in a weekend of virtual hugs for Barbara, organised by her and the lovely Ilva of Lucullian Delights, I said yes without a second’s hesitation.  A little bird told me that Barbara likes clean, Asian-inspired flavours, and I know that ginger is good for nausea (one of the side-effects of chemotherapy), hence the recipe below.

Barbara – I hereby send you a big, warm hug, tons of love and all my positive thoughts for getting through the chemo and emerging victorious.  And seeing as no girl can resist flowers, I’ve also sent you a Spring tulip as a symbol of rebirth :)



GINGER PANNACOTTA WITH LIME SYRUP (serves 4) (from, a now sadly defunct South African food blog)


2 leaves of gelatine (I used half an 8g sachet of powder gelatine)20081207 Ginger Pannacotta with lime syrup IIWeb
400ml double cream
50ml granulated sugar (I use unrefined golden)
25ml ground ginger
1 vanilla pod

For the syrup:

100 ml granulated white sugar
50 + 50 ml water
zest and juice of one lime
strawberries (or raspberries) to garnish


If using leaf gelatine, place the gelatine in water for 4 min.

Place the sugar, ginger and cream into a pot. Slice open the vanilla, scrape the seeds into the cream and then add the pod as well.  Bring the cream mizture to the boil.

Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pod and add either the soaked leaf gelatine, or sprinkle the gelatine powder over the cream mixture.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into small ramekins or espresso cups. Allow to chill in the fridge for at leats 2 hours before serving.

For the lime syrup, place the sugar into a pot along with 50 ml water and boil until the mixture turns light brown.   Carefully add the remaining 50 ml water (it will sizzle – protect your hands!), as well as the lime zest and juice.  The consistency should be syrupy.  Allow the syrup to cool.

When you are ready to serve, carefully slide a table knife around the inside of the ramekinjs or cups cups to loosen the pannacotta. Knock it out onto a plate, pour the lime syrup around it and garnish with red berries.

NOTE: As you will no doubt have noticed from the pictures:  a) the consistency was not at all wobbly like pannacotta should be; and b) the unmoulding bit?  Well it just didn’t happen.  Think trying to coax an oyster out of its shell.  I suspect the reason behind this is the difficulty in converting the quantities in a leaf gelatine recipe to suit powdered gelatine – there was simply far too much gelatine if you used half an 8g sachet like I did.  The taste was fabulous though – very gingery, tempered with vanilla, and the lime syrup is heaven on a spoon.  But next time, a lot less gelatine!

And make sure you check out the full round-up of hugs for Barbara on Bron’s and Ilva’s blogs!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    What a shame your panna cotta was so stubborn, still I think we’ve all be known to have a stubborn streak now and then, me especially! And the taste is the most important thing once it hits your mouth 😉 and I sure would like some to hit my mouth, ginger and lime are some of my favourite flavours, in fact I’m thinking this would make a terrific ice cream!
    Thanks so so much for joining us (and in the middle of the night!) to share such a loving and genuine hug for Barbara… you rock!

  2. says

    Lovely post, and I’m guessing Barbara is asleep right now so I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m enjoying all her good wishes before she sees them.

  3. says

    I don’t mind at all they aren’t perfectly wobbly Jeanne. I’m wobbly enough for the both of us. Thank you for your tulips (one of my favourite flowers), your panna cotta and your virtual hug. Hugs right back at you.

  4. says

    I’m among those who don’t mind if his panna cotta is wobbly or not :) (though I understand purists will want the former.) If unmolding is a pain, simply fill a deep bowl with hot water from the tap and submerge the container to just under the rim for ten seconds. Should come out golden. You can also try a hairdryer on the inverted mold on the plate.
    I just know Barbara will really appreciate this (and good thinking on the ginger!). To be honest I don’t know who wouldn’t! :)

  5. says

    So well said Jeanne. I know that Barbara can feel our energy and positive thoughts heading her way!!It is things like this that make me proud to be a part of the blogging community.

  6. says

    This is the first time I have visited your blog and I found it by searching for ‘Gem Squash” Lol.
    I am trying to grow them and they have flowers but I have no idea where the squash itself grows – does it come after the flower??
    Hope you can help
    Regards Diana

  7. sam says

    Lovely post, Jeanne, and delicious-looking dessert. I have never been able to find leaf gelatin and I always wonder why chefs use it in recipe books when the likes of us are unable to get hold of it easily.

  8. says

    wow Jeanne, stubborn or not, I have to try this-I believe every word you say about it! And thank you for your lovely hug, so good that you joined in!

  9. says

    Wonderful post and a recipe I would live to try out. I went back to read the posts about your friends. Its so tragic when one passes away young,and in their prime.The blogging world is amazing in their support when things get rough. I know Barbara feels the love.

  10. says

    A perfect tribute to beautfiul Barbara. Love the ginger panna cotta & love it’s ‘stubborn-ness’ even more. Just giggling with warmth & love Jeanne.

  11. says

    Hello! Yum! Now this may be something I can win a fool over with. My guy does not like ginger. Not a in a snap or a crystal or a glace or a bread or a man. Sigh. But he does love anything custardy. So, what do you think? Maybe this will change his mind! Thanks for sharing. You’re a good woman!

  12. says

    Hello! Yum! Now this may be something I can win a fool over with. My guy does not like ginger. Not a in a snap or a crystal or a glace or a bread or a man. Sigh. But he does love anything custardy. So, what do you think? Maybe this will change his mind! Thanks for sharing. You’re a good woman!

  13. Browniegirl says

    A lovely post Jeanne, and a super hug for barbara. Im sure she must feel all the love and good wishes that all the blogging community as sending her wasy. Bloggers ROCK!! They are so caring and compassionate. I am way impressed. The panacotta embraces 2 of my favourite flavours….ginger and lime. YUMM I make a sublime ginger and lime fudge hmmm hmmmmm Have a great weekend xxx