Pannacotta is a simple, easy-to-make dessert. Lavender, with its natural relaxant properties and subtle flavour is a delicate floral suggestion. You will need to make it a day ahead to allow time to chill.

Serves 6

1.3 litres / 21/4pints double cream
Finely grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
20g /3/4oz lavender on the stalk
2 vanilla pods
200ml/7fl oz whole milk
4 sheets of leaf gelatine
150g/51/2oz icing sugar

To serve

Lavender on the stalk
Redcurrants to decorate (optional)

Pour the cream into a medium saucepan. Add the lemon rind and lavender stalks. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods and add these to the saucepan along with the pods. Bring the cream to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the cream until it has reduced by one-third (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.

Soak the gelatine in the milk until the sheets are soft and bendy, then remove them to a plate using a slotted spoon. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer. Whisk in the icing sugar and the set-aside gelatine.

Add the milk mixture to the cream and combine. Pass through a sieve into a pouring jug. Pour the mixture evenly into 6 glass bowls or large dariole moulds (200ml-250ml/7fl oz-9fl oz each). Leave to set in the fridge overnight.

When you're ready to serve, run a little hot water over the bottom of each bowl or mould and gently ease the pannacotta away from the sides. Turn on to plates and serve with a little fresh lavender and some redcurrants, if you like.

Find these recipes and more in 'Aaron Cooks Italian' (Mitchell Beazley, £18.99).

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