Buttermilk pannacotta with rhubarb compote

A short list of ingredients, a simple preparation and just divine. Pannacotta, or cooked cream, is a very easy dessert to make, and once you have nailed the consistency just the way you like it, you will be able to make it without thinking. I like mine less sweet than most, and the tanginess of buttermilk gives a “dryness” to this which I am rather partial to. Of course you can use any flavour of compote you like, but I just love rhubarb.

If you have a vanilla bean, split a half a bean lengthwise, and infuse this in the cream and buttermilk for 30 minutes before scraping out the seeds. Divine and extravagant.


  • 320 ml double cream
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2.5 sheets gelatine, soaked in cold water
  • 320 ml buttermilk

Poached Rhubarb

  • 400 g rhubarb
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of half an orange

Place cream, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan and heat on low until the sugar has dissolved and cream is starting to bubble but not quite boil.  Add the gelatine, without the excess water, and stir until it has dissolved.  Stir in the buttermilk in a slow and steady stream.

Pour the mixture into 6 separate serving glasses, bowls, or ramekins.  Once cooled, place in the refrigerator to set.  This will take 6 hours, but can be done overnight.

Meanwhile prepare the rhubarb.  Chop it into short lengths, and place in a medium pan with the remaining ingredients and 1 tbsp of water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until soft.  Let the rhubarb cool completely, then spoon on top of the pannacotta.  Serve it forth.  Serves 6.

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