This cardamom panna cotta with stewed rhubarb is exactly what the British Larder is all about. The combination of flavours, textures and unusual methods is a sheer delight.
Sophistication with a capital S, the dish looks and tastes vibrant and exciting and there are numerous elements to this recipe. It’s your choice to extract what you like from it or take the plunge and make the whole lot.
I have chosen to use a few lesser well know ingredients, such as agar which is a natural vegan and vegetarian setting agent, I will explain more about using agar further on in this recipe. Hope you feel inspired!
Ingredients & Method
For the Cardamom Panna Cotta
- 375ml Double Cream
- 8 whole cardamom pods
- 2 leaves of gelatine, bloomed
- 40g icing sugar
- 300ml natural full fat yoghurt
For the Stewed Rhubarb
- 500g young forced rhubarb
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 400ml cranberry or apple juice
- 150g caster sugar
For the Rhubarb Jelly Sheets
- 200ml reduced Rhubarb juice
- 2.4g agar powder
For the Rhubarb Apple Sauce
- 125g young forced rhubarb
- 125g apples, preferably russets, peeled, cored and roughly diced
- 25ml cranberry juice
- 25g unsalted butter
First prepare the panna cotta. Toast the cardamom pods in a non-stick frying pan over high heat for 2 -3 minutes, keep on stirring until the pods burst open, do not let the pods catch and burn. Place the toasted cardamom pods and the double cream in a saucepan bring to the boil medium low heat, boil for 5 minutes, stir to prevent the cream from catching. Add the bloomed gelatine, stir to dissolve, set aside for 10 minutes while infusing. Pass the cream through a fine sieve to remove the cardamom pods. Stir in the icing sugar and yoghurt.
Pour the panna cotta in to 8 x 6cm wide and 5cm high moulds let the panacotta set in the fridge for a minimum of 8 – 12 hours (over night is best).
For the stewed rhubarb. Wash the rhubarb, remove the leaves and cut the rhubarb in 2cm long pieces, all even size. Place the rhubarb, sugar vanilla seeds and juice in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook the rhubarb as quickly as you can for 2 minutes. Remove all the rhubarb with a slotted spoon; lay the rhubarb on a flat tray to cool as quickly as possible. Reduce the liquid to a thick but runny syrup, cool. Once the syrup has cooled, spoon a little juice over the cooked rhubarb to prevent it from drying out.
For the rhubarb apple sauce. Place the apple, rhubarb and juice in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the butter to the cooked apple and rhubarb mix; stir until the butter has melted. Puree until smooth, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and cool.
For the rhubarb jelly sheets. Select a flat tray or plate to set the jelly in to make your shapes. Weigh the juice and agar powder in to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 30 seconds, stir well. Move quickly and pour the juice on to the selected trays about 1mm thick. The mixture will set very quickly. Please read the cooks notes on this recipe as it outlines important facts you should know about agar. Do not move the jelly until completely set; it does not take long at all. Cut the set jelly in squares, spoon the chilled stewed rhubarb on to the jelly and roll up in a cigar shape. Cut in to desired sizes and keep in the fridge until needed.
To serve, dip the panna cotta moulds in hot water to turn them out on to the plate. Garnish with the rhubarb apple sauce and stewed rhubarb parcels.
What you should know about agar:
- Agar is used in Japanese cookery and is better known in Japan as Kanten.
- Buy agar agar from a good healthy food store in powder form.
- Agar will tolerate heat up to 83°C.
- It will collapse if stirred, shaken or disturbed before it has set completely.
- Use the ratio of 100ml of liquid to 0.7g of powdered agar agar.
- Bring the liquid plus the agar agar to the boil for 30 seconds then set in desired shapes.
- Fruits and foods with high acidic levels will effect the agar agar and you will require more agar to set fruits such as strawberries & citrus fruits
- The following foods will not work with agar at all as they contain enzymes that do not agree with agar, these are chocolate, raw spinach, fresh raw kiwi fruit, fresh raw pineapple, fresh mango, fresh paw paw, fresh figs and fresh raw peach. You have a better chance if you cook the fruits and vegetables first.