food, Recipes

Marlene Dietrich-inspired lime verrine

Concept and styling Raphaella Frame-Tolmie; Photographs Russell Smith


  • 840g cream n 140g milk
  • 190g castor sugar
  • 3 vanilla pods
  • 12 gelatine leaves
  • 500ml lime juice
  • 100g pomegranate arils
  • 150g orange and lime segments
  • 100g Madeira cake, cubed and pan fried in butter
  • 100g berry sorbet
  • 10 pea shoots
  • meringue-and-black-pepper shards

To make a panna cotta, place the cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan, and scrape in the seeds of two vanilla pods. Bring the mixture to the boil, and reduce by one quarter. Remove from the heat. Soak two of the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft, squeeze out any excess liquid and stir them into the hot cream mixture until dissolved. Place the saucepan over a bowl of ice,  and stir occasionally to allow for an even distribution of the vanilla seeds. Arrange six tumbler-sized serving glasses in an egg tray so that they are at a 45º angle. Once the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, pour it into the serving glasses, covering the bottom of the glass but stopping at least 4mm from the rim. Refrigerate to set. Keep the rest of the panna cotta aside.

To make the lime jelly, heat the lime juice in a small saucepan. Soak 10 gelatine leaves in cold water until soft, squeeze out any excess liquid and add them to the hot lime juice, stirring to dissolve. Let it cool slightly, then pour the jelly mixture in a layer over the partially set panna cotta until it reaches the rim of each glass. Once the jelly has set, place the glasses upright and pour about 25ml of the remaining panna cotta mixture into the base of each glass. Return to the refrigerator to set.

Combine the pomegranate arils with the orange and lime segments and the Madeira cake croutons. Arrange the salad in the glasses with the berry sorbet, and garnish with pea shoots and meringue shards. Serves 6

Planet Restaurant, The Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange St, Cape Town, 021-483-1000,

This article originally featured in the August 2013 Issue of House and Leisure