Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Melon Jelly


Panna cotta is traditionally an Italian dessert but this recipe gives it an enchanting Kalahari twist. A true celebration of local flavours composed of a silky cinnamon infused panna cotta, layered with melon jelly inspired by the vibrant makataan melon. Paired with Matcha macarons, crafted with locally sourced pistachios.  Crowned with Boscia blossoms this delicate dessert is a sensory delight and an ideal wind down to a summery dinner party.

Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Melon Jelly and Matcha Macarons 

Prepping time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Serves: 6


for the melon jelly  

½ sweet melon (need 500 ml melon juice)

64 g (80 ml) granulated sugar

¼ lemon, juice

5 sheets gelatine


for the cucumber gel

1 cucumber, peeled, cut (need 250 ml cucumber juice)

½ lemon, juice

24 g (30 ml) granulated sugar

2,5 g agar agar

for the cinnamon panna cotta

75 g (80 ml) milk, full cream

600 g (625 ml) cream

4.5 gelatine sheets

100 g (125 ml) granulated sugar   

7.5 ml vanilla paste

2.5 ml cinnamon, ground

3 cinnamon sticks

for the matcha macarons

135 g (340 ml) almond flour

135 g (260 ml) icing sugar

9 g (15 ml) matcha, ground

120 g egg whites

120 g (150 ml) granulated sugar


for the white chocolate ganache

28 g (30 ml) cream

100 g white chocolate, chopped

for the white chocolate mousse

200 g white chocolate, chopped

200 g cream cheese, room temperature

90 g egg whites

80 g (100 ml) castor sugar   


for the garnish

gold leaf

white carrot flowers


for the cinnamon panna cotta

In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together. Bring the liquid to a boil, allow the cinnamon sticks to infuse for a few minutes. Strain the liquid and bring back to a boil then remove from the heat.

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water, squeeze the excess water out, whisk into the liquid. Strain and set in a tray prepared with cooking spray  (20 x 20.5 cm), make sure the liquid is 2cm high. Allow to set in fridge over night

for the melon jelly

Clean, cut, blend and strain the melon. In a medium saucepan, bring the melon juice, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water, squeeze out all excess water and whisk in with melon juice, strain and set in a tray (33x 22.5cm), sprayed with cooking spray. Set in the fridge

for the cucumber gel

Blend and strain the cucumber, keep 1/3 of the juice aside. In a small saucepan, mix all the ingredients, allow to stand for 4 minutes. Bring to a boil, boil for about 2 minutes, while continuously whisking. Add the remaining cucumber juice and set the gel in the fridge. Blend the gel and strain.

for the matcha macarons

Preheat oven to 140 ֯C. Blend together the almond flour and icing sugar until fine, mix with the matcha. In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peak, gradually start adding sugar. Whisk until glossy

Work 1/3 of the meringue into the almond, icing sugar and matcha until well combined. Fold in the rest of the meringue. Place in piping bag with a 5mm (diameter) nozzle. Pipe meringues on a silpat baking mat, hit the tray to allow air to escape.

Allow to stand for 1 hour or until a skin forms on the macarons. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

for the white chocolate ganache

In a small saucepan, heat the cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to melt for a few seconds before mixing with a spatula. Refrigerate, once firm, place in a piping bag and fill the macarons.

for the white chocolate mousse

Over medium heat, in a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and cream cheese together. In a stand mixer machine, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks, gradually add sugar and whisk until glossy. Fold the meringue into the melted chocolate. Refrigerate the mousse.