Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries
For the panna cotta:
  • enough sheet gelatin to set 170ml of liquid*
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 400ml (or 1½ + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) whipping cream
  • 150g (or ¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 200ml (or ¾ cup + 4 teaspoons) buttermilk
For the strawberry topping:
  • 200g (or 7 ounces) washed and hulled strawberries, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon raspberry eau de vie (optional)
Start with the panna cotta:
  1. Soak the gelatin according to the instructions on the package. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, vanilla seeds, the scraped vanilla bean and salt. Heat over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, crank the heat up to medium-high and allow the cream to almost reach scalding point. Be sure not to scald it, though… Take off the heat.
  3. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin sheets and add the sheets to the hot cream mixture. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
  4. Stir in the buttermilk, then pour the mixture through a sieve into a measuring jug. Discard the vanilla bean.
  5. Allow the panna cotta mixture to cool to body temperature by placing the measuring jug in a bowl with cold water (with ice cubes, if you have them) and stirring occasionally. It’s important that the mixture has cooled to body temperature before you pour the mixture in the serving glasses (otherwise, a layer of condensed steam may form underneath the panna cotta in the glass).
  6. Once the panna cotta mixture has cooled, divide it over four pretty, 200ml (or ¾ cup + 4 teaspoons) serving glasses or jars. Place in the fridge until the panna cotta has set, at least six hours.
Once the panna cotta has set and you’re ready to serve, make the topping:
  1. Combine the sliced strawberries, sugar and eau de vie in a small bowl. Stir together and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the berries to become juicy. Spoon the topping over the panna cotta, and serve immediately.
The panna cotta can be made a day ahead. Macerate the strawberries right before serving.
* I used sheet gelatin, because it dissolves better than powdered gelatin. Check the package of the gelatin for instructions on how to soak it and for information about the gelatin's strength.
* If you want to use powdered gelatin, use about one third of an envelope of gelatin (or a scant teaspoon). Bloom according to the instructions on the package.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at https://thetoughcookie.com/2014/06/10/buttermilk-panna-cotta-with-macerated-strawberries/