Sambuca Panna Cotta with dill sorbet & fennel

Molinari Sambuca, fennel and dill. What do all three of these ingredients have in common? Each of these can be characterized by a distinct anise aroma. So how do you pair ingredients that all share the same scent? There’s a trick! Learn to offset the flavor of anise in this recipe for sambuca panna cotta with dill sorbet and pickled fennel.

Anise tends to have a rather potent flavor. But by mixing and matching different ingredients and preparation techniques, we can actually balance its intensity. For starters, we use cream cheese in our panna cotta to mellow out the sambuca. The process of pickling and confiting the fennel softens its sharper licorice-like flavor. The dill’s anise-scented notes are also less pronounced in the sorbet than its green aromas, so we add orange juice and Granny Smith apples. This helps to lessen the green notes and highlight the anise instead.

Sambuca Panna Cotta with dill sorbet and pickled fennel

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Sambuca Panna Cotta


  • 150 g milk
  • 50 g heavy cream
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 2 g gelatine leaf, pre-soaked
  • 1 g agar
  • 25 g Molinari Sambuca
  • a ramekin

Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and blend until you have a smooth mixture. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into a ramekin and allow to set.

Dill Sorbet


  • 370 g water
  • 170 g orange juice
  • 145 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g corn or glucose syrup
  • 150 g Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 40 g fresh dill
  • 2 g fresh basil

In a saucepan, bring the water, orange juice, sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Add the diced apple and basil leaves. Cool and allow to infuse for at least 24 hours. Sieve the mixture and add the dill. Sieve again. Then use the mixture to make your sorbet (you can use this recipe for a Pacojet).

Pickled Fennel


  • 100 g water
  • 100g Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 65 g granulated sugar
  • ½ g coriander seed
  • ¼ fennel bulb

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cool. Pour the mixture over fennel bulb and pickle.

Visit website Molinari Sambuca or find your own pairings with our Inspire Tool.

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