There is nothing like a smooth, creamy buttermilk panna cotta with vanilla beans and fresh fruit. This tasty dessert is easier to make than you think, and will impress anyone you serve it to!
I've wanted to make panna cotta - a dessert I've only had once in my life - for years now. There was a time when I researched tips for creating a successful panna cotta and came across this very detailed, incredibly researched article that went into every detail regarding creating your own recipe for the Italian dessert. It was a great article, but it went into fat percentages of the dairy you use and the optimal amount needed in the overall dessert compared to other ingredients. A lot of math was involved. A lot.
Math isn't exactly my forte so I decided to move on from that idea for a while. Still, making panna cotta remain in the back of my mind.
It wasn't until I started looking through the book The Good Fork by Sohui Kim - named after the restaurant of the same name. The book is beautifully photographed and filled with the most amazing food inspired by cuisine from across the globe. You open the book and immediately start planning your meals for the week centered around the book. It's the kind of book you keep by your kitchen and end up using regularly until they start to become a part of you and you've all but memorized your favorite, save for a few moments you go back to double check a cooking time here, or an amount of an ingredient there.
Unfortunately for me. most of the recipes contain foods I don't eat anymore (pork and beef), so while I wanted a chance to share this incredible book with you, I was pretty limited in what I could actually make. Fortunately, they had this recipe for buttermilk panna cotta that stood out to me and I couldn't resist the chance to finally make it.
It is irresistibly smooth, like a panna cotta should be. The buttermilk give it this wonderful tang that is complemented by the vanilla beans and enhanced with fresh fruit.
While it is perfect on its own, it makes a lovely blank canvas to customize with any flavors you love. When I make this next time, I think I will add lemon zest or a fruity gelee (I am thinking passion fruit would work really well here). As someone who loves textural contrast, I might also consider adding butter extract or cinnamon and topping with cookie crumbles. The possibilities are endless.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds removed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- In a small bowl, mix together the water and gelatin together. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, mix together the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla bean pod. Heat over low heat while continuously stirring until it reaches a low boil.
- Immediately remove from heat and discard the vanilla bean pod.
- Slowly whisk in the buttermilk, then the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and thoroughly mixed in to the milk mixture.
- Pour the mixture into small ramekins or other containers. Tightly cover and chill for at least four hours.