Try this easy recipe for rhubarb panna cotta from Rosie Daykin's new cookbook

A spring dessert recipe that you'll want to make again and again

Image for Try this easy recipe for rhubarb panna cotta from Rosie Daykin's new cookbook
Images and recipe provided by Penguin Random House.

With a whopping three best-selling cookbooks under her belt, it goes without saying that home cooks across the country are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Rosie Daykin's brand-new cookbook.

The Side Gardener: Recipes and Notes From My Garden promises to be a perfect fourth book to her array of published work, and one which will place focus on seasonal produce and home gardening. As always, the top-notch photography and overall aesthetic of the book help bring her approachable recipes to life.

Image for Try this easy recipe for rhubarb panna cotta from Rosie Daykin's new cookbook

This recipe is all about textures: silky panna cotta, chunky jammy rhubarb, and the slight crunch of the sugary graham crumbs make every mouthful perfect. If you aren’t a fan of the rhubarb or graham, you can simply omit them as the panna cotta is just as lovely topped with fresh berries," says Rosie Daykin in the introduction to this recipe in her new cookbook.

If you're lucky enough to have some first-of-season rhubarb at your disposal, then we can't think of a more fitting dessert to whip up with it than a lovely panna cotta!

Rhubarb panna cotta


2 cups/200 g chopped rhubarb stems

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice


Panna Cotta

1 envelope/2.5 teaspoons/7 g unflavored gelatin

¼ cup/60 ml water

3 cups/750 ml whipping cream

½ cup/100 g sugar

1½ teaspoons vanilla paste

½ teaspoon salt


Graham Topping

¼ cup/25 g graham crumbs

1 tablespoon sugar


Place six glass compotes (ideally ¾ cup/180 ml size) or ramekins (see Note) on a small baking sheet or tray and set aside.

To make the rhubarb: In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Continue to stir for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sugar starts to melt. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the rhubarb has broken down and become quite mushy, like a chunky jam.

Divide the rhubarb evenly between the six compotes and set aside.

To make the panna cotta: In a small saucepan, warm the gelatin and water over medium heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from the heat.

In another saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cream, sugar, vanilla paste, and salt. Adjust the heat to bring it to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until combined.

Divide the panna cotta mixture among the compotes, carefully pouring it atop the rhubarb in each one. Place the panna cotta tray in the refrigerator until they just start to set, about 1 hour.

To make the graham topping: In a small bowl, stir to combine the graham crumbs and sugar.

Remove the tray of compotes from the refrigerator and sprinkle the top of each one with approximately ¾ tablespoon of graham crumbs. Return the tray to the refrigerator until the panna cotta has fully set, at least 3 hours or overnight.


Author's note: If you have chosen to use ramekins, you will need to release each panna cotta onto a plate to fully appreciate the layers when serving. To do this, simply set the ramekins in a shallow bowl of hot water for a few seconds, making sure the water only rises halfway up the side of the ramekin.

Run a small knife around the edge of the panna cotta and then invert it over a small dessert plate. Gently lift the ramekin to release it.

Serves 6