How to make panna cotta that’s creamy and full of flavor, but still light? The secret is buttermilk.
This buttermilk panna cotta is slightly tangy, not-too-sweet and luxurious to a fault – its texture is creamy as can be, yet as light as you’ll ever taste.
To achieve all that, the panna cotta is made with buttermilk – naturally creamy, yet low in calories and fat. Then a bit of cream is whipped and folded into the mixture. These two elements give the panna cotta the most marvelous texture.
Topped with a kiwi compote and spiked with an amazingly aromatic brittle, these little creams make an elegant, ambrosial dessert.
Can be made ahead of time… perfect for dinner parties!
And did I mention that this dessert is not only super-easy to make, but can also be made ahead of time? Now that might be the best part of all!
Food & wine pairing: Mosel or Rheingau, Spätlese (“late harvest”) Riesling with buttermilk panna cotta
A late harvest wine that’s not too sweet is perfect with this dessert. Pour a Spätlese (“late harvest”) Riesling from Mosel or Rheingau in Germany. Not cloyingly sweet, but brimming with juicy acidity and tropical fruit notes, Spätlese pairs beautifully with the tangy kiwi compote. Meanwhile, its luscious mouthfeel is marvelous with the creamy panna cotta.
Buttermilk panna cotta with kiwi compote and salted Marcona almond brittle
active time: 1 hr
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1/4 cup spring water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup organic sugar
- 2 1/2 cups cultured buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream – whipped
- 6 half-cup-capacity espresso cups, teacups, ramequins or martini glasses
- Step 1: Make the kiwi compote and the brittle as per these recipes.
- Step 2: Place the gelatin powder in a small bowl. Add the water and stir well. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
- Step 3: Place the milk and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously until warm, about 150°F (77°C). Remove pan from heat, add the gelatin mixture and whisk until completely dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place the buttermilk and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the milk/gelatin mixture, whisk until well blended and then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Add the whipped cream to the buttermilk mixture and fold in until just incorporated. Pour the custard into a large measuring cup (or a bowl with a spout) and then pour into the cups, ramequins or martini glasses. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days, until set.
- Cook’s note: If refrigerating the panna cotta for longer than 8 hours, cover with plastic wrap so the tops don’t dry out.
- Step 4: Place two pieces of brittle in a mortar and pound with a pestle until finely crushed. Set aside. Remove the panna cotta from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving. To unmold the panna cotta, run the tip of a paring knife around the edge of each cup. Invert onto a dessert plate, tapping the side of the cup to loosen the custard. Top with a spoonful of the kiwi compote and spoon extra compote on the side. Garnish with the crushed brittle and serve the balance of the brittle on the side. If you’re serving the panna cotta in martini glasses, just top with a spoonful of kiwi compote, garnish with the crushed brittle and serve.