Whilst I love all berries with their deep fruity flavour and subtle sweetness, I have to admit that I’m new to this cooking with berries business. I’ve used fresh berries as fillings and garnishes for desserts and cakes for years, but actually cooking with them has been a development that’s come over the the past year, and as a result I’m still learning how berries work when baked/boiled or cooked in other manners.
When I saw this post over at Delicious Days, I was absolutely flabbergasted. How on earth could Nicky have possibly created something so intensely colored and beautiful as this dessert? I sat, mouth agape, as I stared at this picture, and after I managed to shake myself from my stupor, I made a note that I definitely had to give this a try!
Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe with Blueberry Syrup
I had half a bag of frozen blueberries leftover from making blueberry buttermilk muffins the other day, and since I had all the required ingredients, I decided to give this a try the next night. So, I raced home from work the next day and bounded into the kitchen, bright eyed and bushy tailed, eager to cook me up some panna cotta goodness!
So, I followed each of the steps, and got to the point where I added the blueberry puree to the cream… and then my heart fell to the floor with a resounding THUMP.
Instead of staying this ridiculously intense color of pinky purple, my mixture instantly faded to a pale purpley grey.
Say it with me folks – awwwwwwwwwww 🙁
I wondered what was wrong. I’d followed the recipe mostly step by step (and certainly hadn’t made any changes that I thought would affect the colour), and yet the blueberry flavor was quite mild, and the color nothing like the stunning photographs in Nicky’s blog.
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I left a message on her post saying that I’d tried the recipe but it hadn’t worked out quite like hers, and asked her for any possible feedback she may have, and when she sent her reply I was stunned.
Apparently there’s quite a difference between cultivated and wild blueberries! When I was blending my berries I had wondered why the flesh of some of the berries was clear, but didn’t think anything of it and merrily continued on my way.
DOH! Now, don’t get me wrong – whilst the panna cotta was still definetely edible, it just didn’t pack the blueberry punch I had been dreaming of! Solution? Make a lovely little blueberry syrup to accompany these little creamy jellies and help boost the flavor!
I’ll definitely give these another try when I can get my hands on some wild blueberries, but in the meantime while I’ve only got access to the frozen cultivated variety, the following recipe will serve me well 🙂
Blueberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta Recipe Ingredients
- 100mL thickened/whipping cream
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 50mL buttermilk
- 100g blueberries
- 1 tsp gelatine powder
Blueberry Syrup Recipe
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp corn syrup (or liquid glucose)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
How to Make Blueberry Panna Cotta Recipe
1. Mix cream, sugar and vanilla paste in a small saucepan and heat gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure sugar dissolves and mixture is well combined. Remove saucepan from heat once sugar has dissolved completely.
2. Remove roughly 1 tbsp of the heated cream mixture from the saucepan and mix with gelatine powder, mixing thoroughly to get rid of any lumps. Once gelatine has dissolved, pour this mixture into the rest of the cream mixture and stir well to combine completely.
3. Put blueberries and buttermilk in a blender and process till smooth, then pour through a fine strainer into a bowl (remember, we want the panna cotta to be as smooth as possible).
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4. Mix the blueberry puree into the cream, then pour into ramekins/bowls/moulds and leave to set for at least 8 hours.
Whilst panna cotta is chilling, prepare the syrup…
5. Pour the blueberries, sugar, syrup, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Lightly crush some of the blueberries to break the skin (we want some of that juice to come out of the berry into the syrup!)
6. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer over a medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl to mix everything up. Once it has reached simmering point, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes, then pour into a small jug/flask and leave in fridge for a few hours so the mixture can become slightly thicker and the flavors can develop.
7. Just before serving, dip the ramekins of panna cotta briefly into boiling water (don’t let the water get into the mixture!), then run a knife around the outer edge and turn out onto a plate and pour some syrup over the top. Alternatively, serve the panna cotta in their containers with some syrup poured on top 🙂