Sunday, 11 May 2014

In the midst of a two course meal, there is little better than a make ahead dessert - Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb and Ginger

 
 
 
It's that point where you have been running around bringing everything together for a dinner and you sit down to eat, finally, and have a quiet smile to yourself, knowing that dessert is already done. And panna cotta is a wonderfully simple thing to make ahead, as long as you ensure all the gelatine has dissolved and that you only use enough of that gelatine to set it to a sensuous wobble rather than something hard enough to break a window with. And that you allow it long enough to set. And you can get it out of the mould. I did say this was simple, didn't I?
 
Well, it is if you use the recipe below. This is from Bryn Williams' excellent book 'Bryn's Kitchen'. This was such a wonderful dessert. The creamy panna cotta, complete with its beautiful wobble, was a joy in itself, but when put with the rhubarb and ginger, it was simply amazing. I have to confess I could have eaten a bowl of that rhubarb and ginger compote alone, such was its all round amazingness!
 
The sharp eyed amongst you will notice that the side of the mould I pictured in the method is not the same size as the panna cotta that I chose to photograph when I had plated it all up. There are two reasons for this: Number 1, I forgot. Number 2: I doubled the recipe I had below so I would have enough for everyone and some left over. I used smaller moulds initially and then finished off with ramekins. And I decided to plate up the ramekin size, because if I am having panna cotta, then I am having panna cotta, if you catch my drift.
 
Lola and Finn loved this. And so did I. Please make this; it's wonderful!
 
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb and Ginger Compote, taken from Bryn's Kitchen by Bryn Williams (also from S4C's 'Cegin Bryn')
 
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad
 
3 leaves of gelatine
250ml double cream
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in half, with the seeds scraped out
250ml buttermilk
200ml ginger wine
75g soft light brown sugar
strip of orange zest
250g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm batons
 
 
Method:
 
 
 
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. Set aside.
 
 
 
In a large, heavy-based saucepan bring the double cream, caster sugar and vanilla pod and seeds to the boil.
 
As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat.
 
Scoop out the vanilla pod.
 
Add the softened gelatine to the hot liquid and stir well until dissolved.
 
 
 
Pour the liquid onto the cold buttermilk and whisk together until combined.
 
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, (I'll be honest, I didn't - I risked it and got away with it!!)  then pour into four heatproof glasses or ramekins. Place in the fridge to set. This should take about 2 hours.
 
 
 
While the panna cotta is setting, gently heat the ginger wine with the light brown sugar and the orange zest in a large, shallow pan until the sugar has dissolved.
 
 
 
Add the rhubarb batons and poach gently for 4-6 minutes, or until just soft. Remove from the heat, leaving the rhubarb to cool in the liquid.
 
 
 
To serve, spoon the rhubarb on top of each chilled panna cotta, (after you have unmoulded the panna cotta of course - I did this by running a knife around the edges and then dipping the two thirds of the mould briefly in a bowl of boiling water before easing it out onto the plate) and drizzle with the rhubarb and ginger sauce.

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