How to make a creamy, maple pannacotta with mixed-nut brittle

Melanie Johnson figures out what to do with your leftover Christmas nuts with this delightful dessert.


For the pannacotta:

  • A dash of vegetable oil
  • 400ml of single cream
  • 200ml of whole milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste
  • 150ml of maple syrup

For the mixed-but brittle:

  • 450g of caster sugar
  • 100ml of water
  • 100g of butter
  • 125g of golden syrup
  • 350g of mixed nuts


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Lightly grease six pudding moulds with vegetable oil and set aside. In a saucepan, combine 400ml of single cream, 200ml of whole milk, one teaspoon of vanilla paste and 150ml of maple syrup. Heat until almost boiling, then drop in five sheets

of gelatine that have been soaked in cold water until soft. Whisk together before pouring into the prepared moulds. Chill until set. Meanwhile, make the brittle by heating 450g of caster sugar, 100ml of water, 100g of butter and 125g of golden syrup in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, but don’t stir, just wait for it to turn a dark caramel. As soon as it does, add 350g of mixed nuts. Stir and pour onto greaseproof paper, then leave to cool. Invert the pannacottas and serve with broken shards of brittle. Armagnac-soaked prunes would be a great addition.

And for a savoury starter…

Toss 400g of mixed nuts with a splash of neutral oil, a drizzle of honey, a chopped sprig of rosemary, chilli flakes and seasoning, then lightly roast in a moderate oven until just taking colour. Cool slightly and serve.