As you know, my family and I recently travelled to Japan for the second time in less than 3 years. We absolutely adore this country: its culture, its cities, its scenery and… its food. One of the the things we discovered this year was sakura, as a flavour I mean. I had no idea that cherry blossoms would taste so good… something between a flower and a cherry! The first day of our holiday, I bought a sakura flavoured soy milk and I was hooked. I had to buy the essence!! Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Japan to buy sakura essence as you can easily find it on Amazon. I also found some salt pickled cherry blossoms that look and taste delightful.
I bet you didn’t know that sakura were actually edible! In Japan, they are preserved with salt and used in various dishes. Well, the first thing I made with these amazing ingredients was panna cotta. Something like Japan meets Italy. 😉 It tasted so good that my husband had 2 in a row! And now I am already thinking of what to make next!
Sakura Panna Cotta
- 300 ml – 10 oz. heavy cream
- 100 ml – 3.5 oz. milk
- 80 gms – 2.7 oz. sugar
- 3 sheets 6 gms – 0.2 oz. of gelatine or 2 tsp of gelatine powder
- 2 tsp of sakura essence or to taste
- Pink food colouring optional
- 4 salt pickled sakura optional
Put the gelatine sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.
Put the milk, cream and sugar in a pot and heat it on the fire, stirring gently until the sugar melts.
Add the pink colour and sakura essence, and mix.
Squeeze the extra water out of the gelatine leaves and add them into the hot cream mixture. Stir well to dissolve.
Pour into your serving glasses and keep them in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.
To remove the salt from the sakura flowers, gently rinse them and soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the water, shape the petals nicely, and place each flower on a paper towel. Cover with another sheet of paper towel and gently pat dry.
Top the panna cotta with a sakura flour just before serving.
*In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains some affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon.com. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.
Oh, I am intrigued!
I went to amazon, but some people say that this essence doesn’t taste like the “real thing” available in Japan.
however, I see you really enjoyed it, right? Did you notice too much difference between the stuff available over there? It is a bit pricey, and I wonder how many other recipes I could use it for…. any advice?
Hi Sally. It was ok, but you need to use quite a bit of it to get the right flavour. I used 2 teaspoons in the panna cotta recipe… and not a few drops as the bottle said. However, the taste was great. 🙂
I am developing more recipes with it… made cookies and/or ice cream. If you google it, you will fond a few ideas on how to use the essence. Hope it helps! 🙂
That makes sense that you had to use more – actually, after I left the comment I saw that amazon also sells a sakura paste, that reviewers say has a stronger flavor. I thought that it could be something fun to get and probably use for a panna cotta too.
I am really curious about the taste…. and will be following your ‘experiments” with it….
if I get the paste, I’ll report back, ok?
BTW, what a lovely touch the spoons and table cloth matching the dessert… 😉
This is so tempting. I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing this post