Saffron Cardamom Buttermilk Panna cotta is my take on one of my favourite sweet dish "Shrikand" which is found in western states of Maharashtra and Gujurat in India. Shrikand is like a sweet spread made from strained yoghurt and often times flavoured with saffron , cardamom etc and served with hot puris.
What is panna cotta ?
Panna cotta means "cooked cream" in Italian. Panna cotta is usually made with combination of double cream and full fat milk enhanced with some other flavouring agents like vanilla, fennel, lavender, berries, chocolate etc. I didn't have any full fat milk at home and I often try to avoid big substitutions in the core recipe unless I know it is going to work 100%. I got inspired by this Bon Appetit recipe by Alison Roman (I mean common Alison Roman can do no wrong in my opinion) to try and make a buttermilk based panna cotta. Unfortunately the recipe is in cups and you know how your cups can be different to mine. I have done the research and tested this recipe in metric measurements for a foolproof panna cotta recipe. I have gone for buttermilk and double cream combination that lends a slight tang to the final dish without sacrificing creamy opulence of this dessert.
Another pet peeve I have is the number of recipes for panna cotta across the internet that don't work but still get published. I have tried so many and failed many times ending up wasting fine ingredients, my time, energy and sanity. I love a good panna cotta and it should be melt-in-your-mouth with cloud like texture and not gloopy rubbery mess. My love for a good recipe lead me on this quest and I finally found the correct knowledge in Heston Blumenthal's book "Heston Blumenthal at Home" .If you are a keen cook/baker who wants to hone your skills then this is one of my highly recommended book for you.
Zazou Emporium kindly gifted me some of their best quality saffron. Views are totally my own - I really loved the saffron quality and its colour. They also do excellent quality Vanilla pods and extract and have an Etsy shop too incase if you were looking for genuine quality vanilla. I will be sharing recipe soon based on their gorgeous vanilla pods in my next blogpost.
What mould is best for panna cotta ?
I have used 4 oz mini pudding moulds by Alan Silverwood as seen in the background of the first photo and can be found on Amazon and many other cookware retailers. This is the one I have used as seen on Silverwood website here . You can use any other ramekin you have at home or even better you can serve it in beautiful vintage teacups or perhaps in a martini glass. The inspiration and options are endless.
Panna cotta made with buttermilk and double cream infused with saffron and cardamom.
For Panna Cotta
250 ml buttermilk
250 ml double cream
100gms caster sugar
½ tsp saffron thread, soaked in 2 tbsp lukewarm water
½ tsp cardamom
2 ½ gelatine sheet, (I used this Waitrose one)
- Keep all the ingredients measured and ready as this recipe needs moving quickly between hot , cold and semi-cold ingredients.
- Heat the double cream and caster sugar until the sugar is dissolved, do not bring to a boil but just enough heat to melt all the caster sugar. Take it off the heat
- Add the saffron along with its soaking water and cardamom powder, leave this to infuse until the mixture is lukewarm to touch.
- Prepare gelatine by soaking 2 and ½ sheets in cold water. Once the sheet are soft then squeeze excess water and add to mixture in Step 2 provided the mixture is lukewarm by now
- Gelatine should melt away into the mixture , stir to combine really well and make sure there are no lumps at this stage.
- Once gelatine is fully combined then work quickly to add buttermilk and combine it well making one homogenous mixture. You can taste the mixture at this stage to see if you need any addition of sugar, saffron or cardamom to suit as per your tastebuds.
- Pour into 4 individual ramekins and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours , preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve take them out of fridge and place them in warm water for few seconds and they should release with few taps. Otherwise you can use alternate serving options as mentioned in my notes below.
- You can make this with full fat milk too but the taste may not be the same as I have not tested this with milk
- Powdered gelatine can be used incase you do not have gelatine sheets. 2 sheets of gelatine = 1 tsp powdered gelatine
- Never add gelatine to boiling liquids as this will diminish its setting qualities so make sure your mixture is between warm to lukewarm. This is the key to getting that perfect wobble on your Panna Cotta.
Keywords: Buttermilk Panna Cotta