Espresso Panna Cotta Recipe by Chef Colin McKee of Harvey’s Point

Colin McKee Espresso Panna Cotta

As a lover of coffee, this Espresso Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Curd, Fennel Meringue and Coffee Crumb dish is one of my favourite desserts from our dessert menu here at the lakeside restaurant at Harveys point hotel. It’s quite a simple dish but packs a great punch with its intense coffee flavour and aroma. This is balanced nicely by the sharp, yet sweet Passionfruit curd and crunchy coffee crumb. The fennel meringue adds a lovely after tone. Hope yous enjoy.

Serves 4

Espresso Panna Cotta
– 250ml milk
– 2 shots of espresso coffee
– 150g caster sugar
– Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
– 4 gelatine leaves soaked in cold water
– 250ml double cream

1. Bring milk, coffee and vanilla to the boil
2. Add the sugar and dissolve
3. Add the soaked gelatine and mix well
4. Add the cream and strain through a fine strainer
5. Pour into desired moulds to set

Passion Fruit Curd
– 1/2 leaf gelatine soaked in cold water
– 35ml passion fruit purée
– 25g sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 small whole egg
– 20g cubed butter

1. Place the passion fruit purée in a pot together with the sugar, egg yolk and whole egg
2. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously until it thickens, almost jelly like
3. Remove from the heat and mix in the soaked gelatine
4. Add the cold butter and mix well
5. Pour into a piping bag and refrigerate until needed

Fennel Meringue
– 2 egg whites
– 120g castor sugar
– 1/2tsp star anise powder
– 20g chopped fennel herb
– A pinch of cream of tartar

1. Pre heat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the egg whites until foamy
3. Add the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks
4. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk on a medium-high speed until stiff peaks are formed
5. Gently fold in the star anise powder and chopped fennel
6. Spread out evenly on a lined baking tray
7. Cook for approximately 1 hour until crisp
8. Store air tight

Coffee Crumb
– 30g butter
– 25g ground almonds
– 35g plain flour
– 5g barley malt
– 25g brown sugar
– 5g freshly ground coffee

1. Mix the butter and barley malt together until well combined
2. In a mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together and add the butter a bit at a time
3. Rub with your finger tips until a fine crumb is formed
4. Chill for 2 hours
5. Pre heat the oven to 155 degrees Celsius
6. Spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes
7. Leave to cool and store air tight

For garnish:
– fresh passion fruit seeds
– fennel sprigs

Plating up:
In the centre of a plate, place a neat spoonful of the coffee crumb. Demould the panna cotta and place on top of the crumb. Pipe 4-5 dollops of the passion fruit curd around the panna cotta and plate. Gently break the fennel meringue into medium sized pieces and rest them on the curd and panna cotta. Garnish with the fresh passion fruit seeds and fennel sprigs and serve.



Chef Colin McKeeI am the senior sous chef at Harvey’s Point four star country hotel. I’m in charge of the 2 AA rosette lakeside restaurant.

I completed my professional cookery degree in the renowned catering college in Killybegs, Co Donegal in 2006 and I have never looked back.
Since this, Harvey’s point have given me a lot of great opportunities, to Travel to several Michelin starred restaurants, to gain new work experiences,  develop my skills as a chef and sharpen my culinary knowledge.

I now enjoy developing menus for the lakeside restaurant and other food outlets at the hotel, using top quality, locally sourced Irish produce as the base  of my cooking philosophy. Encouraging and developing a great team, always looking to improve and reach new highs.

For me, food is a passion, a challenge, a love and a way of life.

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