Turnt Out


Vanilla Bean Pana Cotta

It’s a fact of life, things don’t always turn out the way we had hoped. Whether it’s a new job, partner or what we order when we go out to eat, sometimes, stuff gets a bit far from the brief and initial expectations… No matter how hard we try or how much preparation we put into something, often it just doesn’t seem to work out. And let’s be real, it’s pretty kak (that’s Afrikaans for “shit” just in case you aren’t South African and for the record, it’s pronounced “k-u-k”).

Panna Cotta wooden spoon

But in all honesty, that’s not what this post is about. This one’s about the fact that it’s okay to experience your fair share of kak because at the end of the day, everyone does. I for one am no exception, in fact, I tend to deal with a moderate amount of it. In the words of One Direction, “It’s the story of my life…” Ha. Side note, to all of you 1-D fans out there crying into your “My Little Pony” pillows, wearing your fan pajamas and blasting “Moments” on repeat whilst wondering where it all went wrong. It’ll be okay. Or will it? WHY ZAYN, WHY?! Not that I would know or anything, but in the minds and hearts of adolescents everywhere, this is an absolute travesty! To bring it a little closer to home, in South Africa in particular, (because they perform here this weekend) this has got to be the biggest upset since Simba chips went up by R2.00 at the school tuckshop! Ha.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that we need to remember that there’s no use harping on about what could’ve and would’ve been had things worked out or gone in a somewhat different (one)direction.Ha. Okay sorry, I’ll stop now. We shouldn’t punish ourselves for the choices we chose to make because the beauty of life is that more often than not, we get another chance to choose something better tomorrow.

Panna cotta with spoon

Why such a focus on the “turn out?” Well, I’m not ashamed to admit that even me, I have my kitchen blunders sometimes. I made this beautiful panna cotta and in my haste to shoot it for the blog, I accidentally maimed one side of it. I was about to throw in the towel and come up with a plan B when Ryan reminded me that I couldn’t be a badger and waste my time, ingredients and effort. SO… You only get an image of half of the whole panna cotta. But I guess you could say I got its good side? Ha.

This one is for Gee who is never perturbed by the thought of how things may turn out. For Tashmika aka T-Baby who always makes something more of whatever turns out. For Ryan who teaches me every day that it’s not the turn out that counts but the fact that we turn up to try. And lastly, it’s for Reuben Riffel (not that he’s reading this but hey) who rekindled my love for panna cotta when I visited his restaurant in Franschoek in December (your pork belly is proof that there is a God!)

Yours in Baking, Bitching and a positive attitude (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because we should all learn to live with the bad turn outs)


Vanilla pod panna cotta

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Blackberry Coulis


For the Panna Cotta

750ml of Cream

¾ cup of Icing Sugar

The seeds of one Vanilla Pod

¼ cup of Water

3 ½ teaspoons of Powdered Gelatin


  1. Place water in a bowl and sprinkle gelatin over, set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Place cream, vanilla and icing sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until it begins to simmer.
  3. Add gelatin mix and stir, continuing to cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour into a lightly greased glass dish or large pudding bowl (I would say 12-15cm in diameter is best).
  6. Leave to set for 4 hours in the fridge or ideally overnight.
  7. Make berry coulis ahead of time and leave in the fridge.
  8. Combine 160g of Blackberries (I used fresh), 1/8 cup of caster sugar and a few tablespoons of water in a saucepan.
  9. Bring to the simmer for a few minutes and squish the berries down with a wooden spoon whilst cooking.
  10. Allow to cool in the fridge and spoon over Panna Cotta before serving.

Health hack: Switch half the cream for Greek yoghurt!

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