Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Honey vanilla panna cotta - ASAP!

I was shocked to notice that the last time I made panna cotta was over a year ago (in this lovely lychee-flavoured one, here). So, for someone who always orders panna cotta when it's on a menu, this situation had to be rectified asap. By the way, does any one actually say 'ay-sap'? Or do you spell out each letter, 'A-S-A-P'? Or take your time to say, 'as soon as possible'? OMG! WTF! LOL!

A quick interweb search unearthed this gem from New Zealand celebrity cook, Annabel Langbein. I think I remember seeing her make this honey and vanilla panna cotta on her 'Free Range Cook' TV show last year. I actually find her a bit irritating to watch - she was always driving a massive four-wheel-drive around the countryside to produce markets, or picking asparagus and plums from her orchard. Then all these people (invited guests, presumably) would descend on her farmhouse and eat the food. I think I'm just jealous because I wasn't there.

The recipes, though, are awesome - simple to make, from everyday ingredients - and they look like they taste wonderful. This panna cotta was certainly easy to make, with a hint of sourness from the buttermilk and the rich flavour of the honey and vanilla really shines through.

Honey and Vanilla Panna cotta
serves 8

2 cups cream, divided in half
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey
½ cup sugar
4 tblsp cold water
4 tsp unflavoured gelatine
2 cups buttermilk

1. Place 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan with the vanilla pod, honey and sugar and heat, stirring, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Simmer for 1 minute.
2. Remove the pot from the heat and lift out the vanilla pod. Split the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds back into the cream mixture and whisk to combine. The leftover pod can be rinsed and dried and stored in a container of sugar to add vanilla flavour to it).
3. Place the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over the top, stirring until it is fully absorbed. Add the soaked gelatine to the hot cream, stirring until it is fully dissolved and there are no lumps.
4. Cool the mixture for 15-20 minutes, stirring often (it needs to be cool before the buttermilk is added or it will split). Lightly whip the remaining cup of cream and stir it into the cooled mixture, then whisk in the buttermilk until the mixture is smooth.
5. Divide the mixture between 6-8 serving glasses. Cover and refrigerate until set. This should take about 3-4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled.

recipe from
Simple ingredients.
By the way, if you're worried about the taste of powdered gelatine in this recipe, don't be; the vanilla and honey effectively mask it.
To test the wobble factor of this panna cotta, I put some of them into teacups and then unmoulded them.
They had a nice wobbliness and were relatively easy to remove from the moulds.
I picked up these pretty serving glasses from the local flea market at 50 cents each - bargain!
They perfectly show off the creaminess of the panna cotta.
These were served with cubes of pear, blueberries and passionfruit.
And some crisp chocolate 'cigars'.
Five stars for this dessert - I still can't get over how beautifully they turned out.


  1. oh, my heart. i just love your blog and this recipe. looks divine!

    and I say a-s-a-p.

  2. this is the first time ive seen buttermilk used in pannacotta! great idea :)
    what a yummy wobbly dessert...and i need to visit the flea market too to find such amazing bargains!

  3. I am shocked to find that I've NEVER made panna cotta! That needs to be remedied. Instantly. This sounds so good!

  4. Very nice. And the mise en place makes it look so simple...!

  5. Ditto with Joanne's comment. My shakey hand also goes up for never having made panna cotta. Gotta love the Rozelle Markets, if that's the flea market you're referring to. I'm still loving my antique Greek coffee cups I got from there, even with the layer of dust they've gathered up on the shelf.

  6. Oh my...this looks so amazing. Just the kind of dish my husband would love. His birthday is coming up! I can't wait to make this!

  7. I love picking up things at flea markets :) I recently raided some of my grandmothers tea cups, saucers and platters for blog pics. So much fun. Now I have to invite her over for cake lol.
    Your panna cotta looks amazing Bel as always!

  8. wobble wobble.. that is a good sign of a good panna cotta. :)

  9. That looks fantastic! I've made a honey pannacotta before and I agree the flavour is great for a pannacotta, but I love the idea of balancing it out with a bit of buttermilk. Also your goblets/glasses are so cute!

  10. I like the idea of honey panna cotta. Yours look scruptious!!

  11. Wouldn't it be great to have an invite to the dinner parties after watching the show? Although I suspect it's mostly waiting around for cameras to be set up. Staying home and eating this sounds like fun!

  12. This looks really good! And really pretty too! I never watched that tv show, because I had too much to watch at that time...though I always wondered what it was about! ;)

  13. This pannacotta looks delicious especially the passionfruit flavours!

  14. Wow, I love pannacotta and haven't had a chance to make it lately...your look delicious with vanilla and honey. I love it with passion fruit, so beautiful how you presented. Have a great week Bel :-)

  15. it looks amazing! ive seen recipes where you put raspberries under neath the panna cotta