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.
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
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
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.
Strawberry Panna Cotta variationNo rhubarb? You can easily make this by swapping strawberries, or any of your favorite berries, in for the rhubarb.
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.
Originally published April 25, 2021