Category Archives: Tips

Boozy Vanilla Panna Cotta


Panna cotta really is the simplest thing to make, just have the confidence to try! 


Try my tested recipe, it makes 5-6 servings, and once you’ve mastered the basics imagine how many different flavours you could make!

You will need:

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups cream

1/2 cup white or raw sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (you can get this from most supermarkets at about $9 but you only need a spoon for this)

4 sheets titanium strength gelatine soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drain OR you can use 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatine dissolved in hot water DON’T use both!


Simply place the cream and milk in a saucepan and heat until just about to boil. Make sure you stir so the bottom doesn’t burn, the only flavour we want is beautiful creamy milk and cream, if you do burn it start again!  Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until dissolved, and then add the softened and prepared gelatine and mix until dissolved.

Pour into glasses, ramekins, dariole moulds or similar, cover with cling film and then place in fridge. Depending on how large you have made them, they could take up to 6 hours to set so these are perfect made in advance!


How Does Your Garden Grow

Yes, cooking is simple.  We all do it everyday.  But are you tired of the same boring dishes day in and day out?

I find it’s all about being inspired.  About seeing a photo, a recipe, visiting a restaurant and saying, wow, I can make that!  You may not always have the confidence but give it a go anyway, isn’t that what Google is for, you can simply find a similar recipe and recreate it.

Are you buying the right ingredients?  I find a lot of us are governed by that grocery list, you buy the same things week in and week out and wonder why your meals are always the same.  Try something new, try keep a few other ingredients around and you’ll be surprised how that changes the dishes you are able to create!

And that brings me to the inspiration behind this post.  A herb garden. Isn’t that the simplest way of adding flavour and excitement to a meal?  Isn’t that the easiest way of creating a globally inspired dish by adding a combination of specific herbs to create a themed dish?  And a herb garden is so easy to have, if I can do it then anyone can!  And they don’t have to be expensive either.  You could plant the basics, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme and of course please just do this for me… plant a few edible flowers!

Dianthus, violets, pansies, roses, marigolds and nasturtiums add instant glitz and glamour and a touch of wow to any salad or meal!And take it from me, there is nothing more therapeutic, stress relieving than watering those delicate blooms and herbs, creating wonderful dishes in your mind, and stopping to well…smell the roses!


Chef Mel

The Vanilla Zulu