Vanilla Pana Cotta and Wild Berry Pyramid

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tags: Pastry competition

In September we joined forces with the 1000 Hills Chef School to challenge aspiring, young chefs in Grade 11 & 12 in KZN to create an original, imaginative dessert for the 1000 hills Chef School Patisserie Challenge.

The entries & results were phenomenal and not to mention absolutely delicious! The 4 incredibly talented young chefs that we're chosen to compete in the final cook-off (3 from Kingsway High & 1 from Howick High School) battled it out on the 12th of September 2015 and set incredibly high standards for future competitions.




1st - Robyn - Taylor Blom (Grade 11 Kingsway High) 
2nd - Yolokazi Hoza (Grade 11 - Kingsway High) 
3rd - Tyra Jade van der Spuy (Grade 11 Kingsway High) Tie
3rd - Nicole Henning (Grade 11 - Howick High) Tie

Congratulations to the Winner of the 1000 Hills Interschool's Patisserie Competition Robyn - Taylor Blom from Kingsway High

"My name is Robyn - Taylor Blom and i'm 17 years old. I am a very busy person with many interests. My main two interests are playing sport and making desserts. I enjoy making desserts because I feel as if I am able to express my emotions through the dessert that I wish to make. I have an extremely bubbly personality and I am always smiling. I love a good challenge that is why I am honoured to have been able to enter such a special and sophisticated competition." 

"A chocolate shard and caramelized sugar wand framing, a delicious vanilla Pana Cotta stacked with icy wild berries"

Main Element:

Pana Cotta - Base Sphere 


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatine (about 1/2 packet)
  • 1/2 cup whole cream milk
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yoghurt 

Other Elements:

  • Mixture of wild berries - Leave in the fridge to remain cold and icy.
  • Chocolate shard - Melt your chocolate but not over 35'c. Spread onto a Teflon sheet or baking paper. Leave to set, do not put in the fridge. Once set cut to preferred shape.

Equipment required:

  • Stove, microwave, fridge
  • Teflon sheet or baking paper, 2 pots/sauce pans, 2 glass bowls, a base mould, and a sphere mould.


  1. Place the cream in a saucepan.
  2. Half the vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out seeds with knife, then add seeds and pod to the saucepan.
  3. Add the sugar and bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Discard the vanilla pod. 
  4. Sprinkle the gelatine over the milk in a bowl and let it stand until the gelatine softens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir the gelatine mixture into the hot cream mixture until dissolved, and then stir yoghurt. 
  6. Divide amount amoung six to eight 4-ounce ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  7. Dip each ramekin three-quarters of the way in warm water and invert onto a plate.

Second Element 

Chocolate Mousse - To hold everything together


  • 1 egg
  • 40ml sugar
  • 1 lint slab
  • 5ml hydration gelatine 
  • 15ml water


  1. Beat egg and sugar until creamy. 
  2. Melt slave of chocolate, add to the egg and sugar.
  3. Mix the gelatine and cold water together until foamy, once foamy put in microwave for a few seconds.
  4. Add to mixture. 
  5. Whip your cream and fold into mixture. Allow to set and then pipe to requirements. 

Congratulations to everyone that took part in the competition! You sure know how to turn the ordinary into the wonderful. It really was a tough choice for the judges!


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