B.C. recipes: Blood orange panna cotta, with orange olive oil cake and butter-roasted grapes

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      If you’re searching for a new dessert to hit the sweet spot this spring, here’s a recipe for a classic Italian dessert that’s freshened up with the bright flavours of citrus and grapes.

      This recipe for blood orange panna cotta with orange olive oil cake and butter-roasted grapes arrives courtesy of restaurateur and chef Chris Lam at Straight and Marrow, which opened in July 2020 in Vancouver’s East Village (in the former location of Bistro Wagon Rouge).

      Blood orange panna cotta, with orange olive oil cake and butter-roasted grapes

      Serves: 4  


      Panna cotta 

      250 millilitres blood orange juice 

      200 millilitres 3.25 percent milk 

      ½ cup sour cream 

      ½ cup white sugar 

      1 cup whipping cream 

      1 tbs powdered gelatin 



      85 grams black grapes 

      2 tablespoons butter 


      Olive oil cake 

      4 oranges 

      3 ½ cups all-purpose flour 

      1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 

      5 large eggs 

      3 cups sugar 

      1 ½ cup olive oil 


      In a heavy bottom pot, reduce the orange juice by half.

      Bloom the gelatin by adding 2 ½ tablespoons of ice water and let it sit for three minutes.

      Add all other ingredients to the pot and bring to a simmer making sure to never let the mixture boil.

      Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

      Pour the strained mixture into ramekins greased with cooking spray and let set in the refrigerator for four hours.

      Cut around the ramekin with a small paring knife to unmold when ready to serve.  


      Melt the butter and mix the grapes with the melted butter and a pinch of salt.

      Spread the grapes evenly on a lined baking tray and put into a preheated 225 F oven.

      Roast in the oven for 14 minutes. 


      For the olive oil cake, juice the oranges and zest one orange. Reserve the juice and zest.

      In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, zest, 5 eggs, and 3 cups of sugar with a pinch of salt.

      Add the olive oil to the reserved orange juice.

      Stream this liquid into the mixing bowl while whisking thoroughly ensuring that there are no clumps.

      Add the liquid a little at a time until it is all incorporated evenly.

      Pour this mixture into a greased loaf pan.

      Bake the loaf in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the cake cleanly.