Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Rose-scented Raspberries

Photo by John Sherlock

Recipe by Nathan Fong

I’ve always been a fan of panna cotta, the light, silky Italian custard that is served cold. I had this sublime dessert at the wonderful Bills in Sydney, Australia, several years ago and was intrigued with the fragrant garnish of fresh raspberries scented with a hint of rose water. Today it’s still one of my favourite summer desserts.


3 tsp gelatin

1/2 cup half and half cream

7 oz sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

4 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup whipping cream, lightly whipped

8 oz fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained

2 Tbsp icing sugar

3/4 tsp rose water


Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 Tbsp of water in a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, gently warm the cream, sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and then remove from the heat. Add the gelatin to the saucepan, stirring until dissolved. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Stir in the buttermilk, then fold in the whipped cream. Pour into six 7-oz ramekins and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, place half the raspberries in a glass bowl and crush with a fork. Stir in the icing sugar and taste for sweetness. Fold in the remaining raspberries and the rose water. Chill until ready to serve. Top each ramekin with a spoonful of the raspberry mixture.


Serves 6.


First published in EAT July/Aug 2008

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