Rhubarb Panna Cotta
Today’s post is a big deal. Today, April 27th, is the blog’s birthday. Four years ago today, when I was bored & sitting at home alone trying to avoid studying, I decided to set up this little blog. The name choice I sometimes still cringe over, & God knows I definitely cringe when I look back over some of (all of) my early posts. That said, creating this blog & making the effort to actually keep it updated (it’s been a bit touch & go over the years, yes) has without a doubt been one of the best things I’ve ever done. & here we are, 4 years later!
Ever since I created passionate baker all those years ago I’ve been head over heels in love with every single element of making the blog happen. Of course, sometimes the pressure of thinking up something delicious to bake & then trying to take pretty photos & write an entertaining post & changing every little detail about everything can get to be a tiny bit too much, but that’s when I have to take a step back & make ice. It happens. It’s okay though, because those times are outshone by the times when an idea for a blog post consumes my every thought until I take action & make an extravagant last minute cake or plan a huge dinner party (that will inevitably stress me out). It’s a happy medium, a delicate balancing game.
There’s no denying that passionate baker, & everything that goes hand in hand with it, has entirely taken over my entire brain. Like, it’s bad. I sometimes get the feeling that I’m like one of those proud (& just a teeny bit annoying) mothers that is always talking about their children & their new clothes or haircuts… except I talk about different ways to decorate my bakes & my newest prop plates (that most certainly can not under any circumstance be used for actual eating) & cake tins. It gets embarrassing.
Knowing all of this, I’m sure you can imagine what I was like when I discovered the blog birthday was nearing. That was about 4 months ago, & the talk about what to make for today was pretty much non-stop all the way up to last week. The questions went round & round & I thought about making a crepe cake or a birthday cake or maybe a mousse, until eventually I for some reason landed on panna cotta. Rhubarb was chosen because it juussttt came into season (& also because it’s pink & cute). As well as that, I couldn’t find a single recipe for any rhubarb flavoured panna cotta online, only vanilla panna cotta with strewed rhubarb floating around it & who really wants that?
So here we have it: rhubarb flavoured panna cotta, topped with a last minute strawberry compote – the perfect blog birthday dessert. The rhubarb flavour was perfect in the panna cotta, subtle enough that apparent rhubarb haters saw the error of their ways & proclaimed their new-found love for those beautiful pink stalks, but not so subtle that rhubarb lovers were disappointed. The strawberry compote drew the whole thing together, adding that teeny bit of extra sweetness rhubarb often needs. Can you tell that I’m totally in love with this recipe?
Here’s to another four years of passionate baker!
Makes 6-8 servings
- 12 ounces rhubarb, leaves & ends cut off, chopped into lengths of 5cm
- juice & finely grated zest of half a large orange
- 3ish tablespoons honey (just enough to make sure the rhubarb is coated)
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 2 cups of double cream
- 1 cup of full fat milk
- 6 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 2 cups of strawberries
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tabletspoons lemon juice (or there abouts..)
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Have your 6-8 serving glasses ready nearby.
- First, we need to roast the rhubarb. On a large baking tray, combine the prepared rhubarb with the orange juice, zest and honey, & mix until all the rhubarb is thoroughly coated. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft & tender.
- Remove from the oven & transfer to a tall measuring jug with a lip. Puree the rhubarb until completely smooth. Strain the rhubarb puree into a medium sized pot to ensure there are no strings left. Rinse out the measuring jug as you’ll need it again. Sprinkle the gelatin over the rhubarb puree & set aside for 5 minutes.
- Set the pot over a medium-low heat & whisk gently until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Add in the cream, milk & sugar & whisk until the sugar has entirely dissolved & the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Strain the panna cotta mixture back into the large measuring jug. Finally, strain the mixture once more (to ensure absolute smoothness), pouring directly into the serving glasses. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Shortly before unmoulding the panna cotta, make the strawberry compote. Combine the strawberries, the sugar, & the lemon juice in a small pot over a medium heat & stir. When the sugar has dissolved & the strawberries have broken down & there’s a syrupy sauce bubbling in the pot, remove from the heat & leave to cool.
- To unmould the panna cotta run a hot knife along the inside of the glass to separate it from the panna cotta. I then sat my glasses in a cup of boiling water to loosen them up for about 10 seconds.. then I shook them over the plates I wanted to use until they came free & plopped on out. Some of them needed a helpful shove with the hot knife again, but we all need a push sometimes!
- Serve the panna cotta chilled, with the strawberry compote drizzled over the top or on the side. Enjoy!
These are some pretty flowers my sister & I picked specifically for the blog birthday photos. Aren’t they gorgeous? I haven’t edited that photo even a little bit – they’re so vibrant!