Buttermilk Panna Cotta

buttermilk panna cotta
Well holy crap, is this delicious.  And holy crap is this so super easy.  Who knew, Buttermilk Panna Cotta, sounding all fancy and snooty but guess what?  It’s ridiculously accessible.  Fancy pants Italian sophistication and opulence in a snap.

In fact, it’s almost embarrassingly, absurdly easy to make.  And I kid you not, it’s a mere ten minutes of prep, if that, and the rest happens for you in the fridge.


Everyone will think you toiled with how luxurious this is; no need to spill our secret.

See, forever I thought a Panna Cotta was complicated and fussy and unattainable or whatever difficult but lo my friends, it is not.

Back in December, we had the honor of dining with family at one of our top ten favorite restaurants around town, Boeufhaus.  Swinging through here for dinner is a serious, decadent treat and as such, swinging through here is a rarity reserved for special occasions, or, I guess, if we’re feeling extra.

For us, it’s a big deal to go.  We hold this place in revere.

Anyway, the dessert menu changes so we rarely have the same thing twice.  This visit we ordered their offering of Buttermilk Panna Cotta and our minds were so blown.

So blown I was hellbent on replicating it because I required the ability to have it any freakin' time again.

buttermilk panna cotta viewed from above
And I did it!
First, Panna Cotta.  Right?  So fancy!  Second, buttermilk?!  Whaaaat…?!  Pew, there goes my mind again.

Look, this is about subtlety and nuance.  It’s full of flavor, only mildly sweet, tart with buttermilk, creamy, smooth, cool and light, wiggly fun…

…but also sort of a blank canvas for you to paint upon. 

Served solo though, it…it’s…it is…..brilliant.

It is Thee Perfect no-bake knockout when it’s much too hot outside to turn on the oven.  Dress it up, don’t dress it at all.  Serve it at your fanciest upscale dinner party or serve it on an everyday, random Tuesday.

Regardless of when or where or to whom you serve this, it’s gotta be the fastest dessert on the planet to prepare.

I’m tellin’ ya, this Buttermilk Panna Cotta is truly impeccable.

What is Panna Cotta, you ask?  It’s essentially a thickened cream using gelatin.   And while I’m not a regular gelatin user, this is worth it.  Here's more info about gelatin powder versus sheet and conversions.

Seriously though, this recipe is an absolute dead ringer for the Boeufhaus version.  Even Mike said “yeah wow babe, this is exactly it.”  So in his brevity, I knew I had a pow, nailed it moment.

Ok, so it does take a bit of planning ahead in that it does take a few hours to set but my goodness, no biggie.  That probably feels like the ah there’s the catch but in the grand scheme of things, it’s hardly so.

You can serve this plain as I’ve mentioned but also with fruit or a fruit compote (Boeufhaus did a grape compote), fruit sauce, or a warmed jam even.  The highlight and premise is the buttermilk so opt for complementary flavorings then go easy on it.

Big bonus with this recipe is the ability to use up buttermilk you have kicking around the fridge.  Especially if you make your own and have too much or need a way to use it.

Do note, I lopsided the original recipe to favor the buttermilk over the cream so if you're into this whole premise but want a more subtle buttermilk flavor, lop side it back by switching the quantities the other way.

Try it my way first and I think you'll agree, this is the way.  Yes, a Mandalorian reference; I live with a Star Wars fan.

Anyway, let's get started on this ethereal Buttermilk Panna Cotta.

Pour the buttermilk into a four cup measuring cup* or similar sized bowl with a pour spout.*  Plop a fine mesh strainer* over the top of it and set that aside for now.

prepping ingredients for Buttermilk Panna Cotta
In a small dish, sprinkle in the gelatin and pour over the water to bloom it up.
blooming gelatin in small dish
Then, in a small sauce pan,* heat the cream with the sugar, vanilla, and salt.  You're not looking to boil as that will destroy the gelatin; you're just looking for some steam and hot to the touch.  Yes, I do dip my finger in there.

I know, I hesitated to add the vanilla to the heating cream.  The result is a just-right whiff of vanilla so if you'd like more of a mmph, add it very last before pouring into ramekins.

Here's a hot tip:  pour a few tablespoons of the heated cream into the bloomed gelatin dish and stir that up super well with a fork or a whisk.  This will help dissolve all of the gelatin. 

mixing hot cream with bloomed gelatin
Trust me, this saves you from undissolved clumps and though it seems a pointless step, it does make confidently mixing everything together far easier.

Pour the dissolved gelatin mix back into the sauce pan and whisk* it about.

mixing dissolved gelatin into hot cream
Next, pour that through the fine mesh strainer into the buttermilk.  If the buttermilk is still cold, it's fine, no worries.

pouring hot cream and gelatin into buttermilk through fine mesh sieve
Give everything a nice big stir and we're ready!

Another hot tip:  set your ramekins* onto a sheet pan* for ease of transport to the fridge.  Given I have a monster 'hundred and fourteen pound furball constantly and literally underfoot, this quiets any tripping-and-spilling-everything fears.

I know the recipe calls for six 6 ounce ramekins but use whatever you'd like, by the way.  If you have four ounce, use those but obviously more than six.  Use some elegant dishes or bowls or one large higher sided pan, even.

Divide the Buttermilk Panna Cotta mix between your dishes, pop in the fridge uncovered, and chill.  You too, chill, you're done and you'll soon have a most awe-inspiring dessert in a few short hours!

dividing Buttermilk Panna Cotta mix into ramekins
Amazing, right?!

finished buttermilk panna cotta with blueberries
Wait 'til you taste this.  Oh my.  Yes.  HeAvEn.

close up of spoon with buttermilk panna cotta
Dreamy, creamy, jiggly fun....Buttermilk Panna Cotta, my friends!
buttermilk panna cotta in a dish
Hope you relish this one as much as we do!

(FYI:  if you are unable to see the recipe card below, please contact me.  You will be paid for your time in assisting to resolve the issue.  Thanks!)

*The 4 cup measuring cups, bowls with spouts, fine mesh strainers, sauce pans, whisks, ramekins, and sheet pans are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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