John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

John's coffee panna cotta with hazelnut brittle

John and Lisa have a menu inspired by Italian cuisine in their Weekend Kitchen.

They start with a warming tomato sauce which can be used in many dishes - not least with their fresh pasta and garlicky bread rolls.

Next it’s chicken parmesan topped with Lisa’s cheat’s béchame sauce.

Then another use for the tomato sauce - as a base for gorgeous ricotta-filled courgette spirals.

For dessert it’s a favourite of John's  - coffee panna cotta.

John's coffee panna cotta with hazelnut brittle

Serves 4


Panna Cotta

600ml double cream 

90g caster sugar 

1 vanilla pod, split 

1 cup of double espresso 

2 leaves platinum gelatine

2 squares dark chocolate, finely grated

Hazelnut brittle

200g sugar

2 tbsp water 

200g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped


You will need four small coffee cups or 175ml pudding moulds


Panna cotta

1. Drop the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for five minutes. Meanwhile, put the cream and the sugar into a saucepan and scrape the seeds from inside the vanilla pod into the cream mixture. Drop in the pod as well, add in your espresso and then put the pan on the stove and heat until it’s scolding hot (but not boiling). Take your pan off the heat and remove the vanilla pod from the cream mixture.

2. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeeze out as much water as possible then drop it into the infused cream and stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Pour the mixture slowly into the coffee cups or moulds then chill overnight or for at least 4 - 6 hours in the fridge until set (you can pour your mixture into a jug to make it easier to divide into the cups if you prefer).

Hazelnut brittle

1. For the brittle, line a baking tray with a silicone sheet or greaseproof paper. Stir the sugar and water together in a mixing bowl until you get the texture of wet sand. Add the sugar mixture to a cold, heavy based large frying pan and then turn on a medium-high heat. As the sugar caramelises, do not be tempted to move or stir it. Cook until it reaches a light caramel colour and there are little puffs of smoke coming from the bubbles. Then immediately turn the heat off and give the pan a gentle shake - your lovely golden caramel should then form. Pour your hot caramel onto the lined baking tray (being very careful when doing so as it is very hot) and then sprinkle on your chopped hazelnuts and a pinch of salt. Leave to cool completely then break into pieces.


1. The panna cottas will be ready when they are set, but still have a little bit of a wobble. Serve with the shards of hazelnut brittle.

John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen