Cardamom Panna Cotta with Rhubarb

Cardamom panna cotta with rhubarb is an elegant, yet simple, dessert that makes use of seasonal rhubarb or even strawberries. A creamy base is infused with cardamom, making it as irresistible as it is easy.

Four individual servings of cardamom panna cotta with rhubarb on a serving tray.

Adapted from Clodagh McKenna | Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen | Kyle Books, 2021

There are several fantastic things about panna cotta. Firstly, you can make them a day ahead, and secondly you can add your own signature by including different flavors and fruit depending on the season. In the spring and early summer, we have an abundance of rhubarb growing in the garden, then I switch to fresh berries in the middle of the summer, and figs and pears in the autumn. Cardamom is such a wonderful ingredient – it brings citrus, mint, and spice to the panna cotta. You can also swap it with a couple of teaspoons of rosewater or orange blossom water.–Clodagh McKenna

CAN I MAKE PANNA COTTA AHEAD OF TIME?

In addition to everything else this lovely little recipe has going for it, there’s something else that hasn’t been mentioned yet. It requires no oven and can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered in the refrigerator. It’s perfect for crazy holidays when the stove is already spoken for, as well as for casual summer entertaining.

Cardamom Panna Cotta with Rhubarb

Four individual servings of cardamom panna cotta with rhubarb on a serving tray.
Cardamom panna cotta with rhubarb is an elegant, yet simple, dessert that makes use of seasonal rhubarb or even strawberries. A creamy base is infused with cardamom, making it as irresistible as it is easy.
Clodagh McKenna

Prep 45 mins
Chill 2 hrs
Total 3 hrs
Dessert
Italian
4 servings
367 kcal
4.34 / 3 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen cookbook

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Ingredients 

For the panna cotta

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 ounce superfine sugar or just blitz granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground
  • 2 gelatin sheets or 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk

For the poached rhubarb

  • 2 stalks (6 oz) rhubarb fresh or frozen, cut into 1 inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 2 3/4 ounces (generous 1/3 cup) superfine sugar or just blitz granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions
 

Make the panna cotta

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, cardamom pods, and sugar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced by a third, 10 to 30 minutes.
  • If using gelatin sheets, in a small saucepan, soak the gelatin sheets in the milk until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the gelatin, heat the milk until boiling, then return the gelatin to the milk and stir until dissolved.
    If using gelatin powder, in a heatproof measuring cup, combine the gelatin with 1 tablespoon cold milk and let bloom until soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining milk until just boiling. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the gelatin mixture to temper, then pour the warmed gelatin mixture into the hot milk.
  • Pour the milk and gelatin mixture into the cooked cream, stir and then strain through a sieve (to catch the cardamom pods).
  • Divvy the liquid between four serving glasses. Leave to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until set, about 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Make the poached rhubarb

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar, and water. Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until tender but still holding its shape, about 10 minutes more. Let cool.
  • Remove the panna cotta from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so that they warm up a little. Spoon some poached rhubarb on top of each panna cotta and serve.
Print RecipeBuy the Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

Strawberry Panna Cotta variation

No rhubarb? You can easily make this by swapping strawberries, or any of your favorite berries, in for the rhubarb.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 367kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 33g (11%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 16g (100%)Cholesterol: 92mg (31%)Sodium: 54mg (2%)Potassium: 207mg (6%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 30g (33%)Vitamin A: 1051IU (21%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 136mg (14%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I was happily surprised about how easy it is to make panna cotta. I've always watched the process on the cooking channels and thought it needed advanced cooking skills. I didn't make the poached rhubarb (I don't like it) so, I made poached strawberries and it was superb. It was as easy as reading the instructions which were very detailed.

Final results: delicious! The cardamom flavor (this is my first time using cardamom in a sweet recipe) and the fragrance gave a unique taste. The amount of sugar was perfect and balanced with the poached strawberries. I tried one serving of the cardamom panna cotta after an hour cooling period and left the other to cool overnight.

What a simple yet impressive dessert this is! The recipe for cardamom panna cotta with rhubarb is so easy to make and can be made in advance to save some time. The panna cotta itself is creamy, smooth and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I absolutely loved the cardamom flavor.


Originally published April 25, 2021

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Comments

  1. These look lovely! Is the cardamom the decorticated seeds or a piece of (green?) pod with the seeds still left inside? I’m guessing seeds, given the half teaspoon measurement, just want to be sure. Thanks!

    1. Good question, Beth. The recipe just calls for crushed cardamom pods, so I don’t think you need to worry about stripping out the seeds and discarding the shells, but you would want the pods crushed enough to expose the seeds and all that lovely flavor.

  2. 4 stars
    Having company for Mother’s Day and am always looking for make ahead recipes. I also grow rhubarb in my garden so this dessert seemed perfect. I used Whole foods 365 organic cream which is on the thicker side of other types of cream plus a freshly opened bag of cardamom pods. Based on other reviews I also added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of powdered gelatin as I did not want a soft-serve panna cotta. I simmered the cream and cardamom for a full 30 minutes, but don’t think it reduced by 1/3rd..I’d guess more like 1/4th. I did end up with 1 extra serving (on purpose) so I could taste before serving to guests. For me it was a very heavy cream forward flavor. I would not know there was cardamom in there had I not made it myself. I wish I had added more cardamom to the mix and maybe a touch of vanilla. The compote is delicious and I will add a generous amount to each serving. I did add strawberries to the compote as I wanted more of the deeper red color and flavor.

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