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Panna cotta with rhubarb compote

This is so easy to make it's almost tempting to mess with the recipe and infuse the cream with ginger, or orange or something to add a twist. But I'm a classicist and there is something pure and lovely about a wobbly, light vanilla pudding, cut with sharp sweet rhubarb.


Serves six




400ml double cream

200ml semi skimmed milk

2 tbsp caster suger

2cm of a vanilla seed pod

just under 2 teaspoons of gelatine

5 stalks rhubarb, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tbsp honey



What you need


Six small ramekins about 9cm in diameter


What to do


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).


Chop the rhubarb into bite sized pieces and place into an ovenproof dish. Stir in the honey and a tablespoon of water and bake until the rhubarb is soft but has not lost its shape, with a lovely pink sauce. Remove and allow to cool before refrigerating.


Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan (heavy based if possible) and set it over a low heat until the mixture starts to 'shiver'. This is the stage just before it starts to boil, if you see little bubbles rising up take the pan off the heat for a bit. Scrap the seeds out of your vanilla pod and add, along with the pod, to the saucepan.


While the cream is heating, put the gelatine in a small bowl in some hot water and let it melt. Spoon some on the hot cream into the gelatine and stir until well combined. Add a few more spoonfuls of hot cream and mix well, then pour the whole lot back in the saucepan and mix again. Remove the vanilla pod and discard.


Divide the cream mixture between your six ramekins and allow to cool. If you're in a rush you can put them straight in the fridge but they will still need a couple of hours to set.


When you're ready to serve, just gently spoon chunks of rhubarb with their juices into each ramekin.


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