In this week’s episode of The Free Range Cook, Annabel braves the bees to collect the purest organic honey for her Honey Vanilla Panna Cotta – it’s made with half buttermilk, half cream so is lighter on the calories. I’m really looking forward to episode 5 and not just for the Panna Cotta recipe. I’ve always wanted to be a bee keeper but it looks like Annabel has beaten me to it. She looks like a (smiling) martian! Or maybe she’s just queen bee…
Honey Vanilla Panna Cotta
Buttermilk is a low-fat alternative to the cream that is usually used in panna cotta, but you can use cream, or half cream and half milk. Don’t panic if your mixture isn’t getting any thicker – the gelatin won’t thicken until it cools. Measure the gelatin carefully – use too much and the mixture will be rubbery. It must be added to cold water or it will go lumpy.
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 5 mins + 3 hours chilling time
Makes 6-8 servings
2 cups cream, divided in half
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey
½ cup sugar
4 tbsp cold water
4 tsp unflavoured gelatine
2 cups buttermilk
Sunshine Fruit Topping (see below)
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.
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 (rinse the leftover pod and store it in your sugar container – it will add a nice flavour to the sugar).
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. You will know when it is dissolved because there will be no visible granules.
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.
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. To serve, divide Sunshine Fruit Topping over the top of the set panna cottas. Serve chilled.
Sunshine Fruit Topping
Wash, peel and finely dice 3 peaches. Mix with the pulp of 4 passionfruit and 1 tbsp liquid honey.