Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vanilla bean Panacotta with Cumquat 3-ways & Matcha Soil

Happy New Year!!

Hope you all had a fantastic festive season and I trust you all ate well - As you can see we sure did from Gummi Baby's latest posts.

A new year arises, we slowly get back into the routine of eat-sleep-work, but the streets are quiet and you're still working only half pace. This void in time within the blogasphere only means one thing to us bloggers....we open the flood gates of backlogged blogs.

What do you do when your parents or close relatives give you fresh produce that you have no idea what to do with, but don't want to offend them as you know they are very proud of their produce. After years of nurturing her beloved kumquat tree, Mamma bear's tree yielded massive plump orbs of sunshine, and lots of them too!!

[ Mamma bear's kumquats vs my squash ball]

The only thing I've ever seen my family do with kumquats is to preserve them in brine water, or dehydrate them in salt to create those weird looking preserved snacks you find at Asian grocers.

What better than to serve them up at the Shanks for Linner, lunch/dinner...but how?

The most treasured part of the fruit is the rind as the flesh can be quite tart and bitter so I balanced it with a sweeter white chocolate and vanilla bean panna cotta. Originally, I was just going to make a cumquat coulis but tasted the fruit and it was surprisingly sweet, with only a hint of bitter after tone. When I was sifting the coulis it left stringy bits of the peel left which had an interesting texture, almost like soft stringy coconut, with a sweet fruity peel taste. With my findings, it would be more interesting to add a few more textures to the dish. Hence the kumquat 3-ways was served as coulis, sweetened peel and a fresh wedge. As the peel was a last second addition I didn't get shots of it on the final dish (which was brilliantly plated by our Junior Masterchef in training, Wagson) .

The Matcha soil was also a last addition. I had previously made some gluten free matcha shortbread, and decided to crush it up to add some crunch to the dish, plus I thought the matcha would "match-a" quite well with the cumquat. The recipe has slipped my mind but I'm sure you can Google one up.

So here you have it....

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Cumquat 3-ways & Matcha Soil.


1 vanilla bean
100gm white chocolate
20gm powdered edible gelatin
100ml water
300ml thickened cream
300ml cream
100gm caster sugar

20 largish cumquats (set a side 5 to serve as wedges)
3 tablespoon caster sugar


Panna Cotta
- Add the gelatin powder to the water and set aside to let the gelatin bloom.
- Add the creams vanilla bean and sugar and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and add in the white chocolate, stir until chocolate has melted to form a smooth mixture.
- Strain mixture into moulds or glasses (I used plastic jelly moulds).
- Refrigerate over night.

Cumquat 3-ways
- Quarter, de-seed 15 cumquats and place in a sauce pan.
- Add the caster sugar and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Continue to heat the mixture until it starts to slightly caramelise and thickens.
- Remove off the heat and strain into a bowl.
- When straining keep the peel left in the strain and remove any rogue seeds.
- Set coulis aside to completely cool.

To plate-up, be as creative as you want to be.

Till next time ... we eat!!



  1. What a luscious looking panna cotta! I love how you've contrasted the creaminess with a slightly tart cumquats! :)

  2. I hope it's not the only time you make this, it's one of the best desserts you've made and I'd love to have it again, any time! :D

  3. Oh panna cotta. So soft and delicious. A great idea to pair this with cumquats and matcha!

  4. This is such a gorgeous recipe! So elegant but obviously tasty, too. Love the matcha soil (very trendy!)

  5. I agree that it was one of the best desserts you have made Shanks. Great job! Wag

  6. Happy New Year all! That panna cotta looks fantastic and so drool-worthy, great work!

  7. What wonderful looking panna cotta. I love the contrast of the matcha soil with the cumquats,quite colourful against the creamy white panna.

  8. That looks fantastic! Love the addition of matcha ;-)

  9. Hi Lorraine, Thanks it matched really well :)

    Hi GB, Let me know when the next batch of cumquats arrive. :)

    Hi Helen, Thanks it matched well and I really liked the colour contrast too :)

    Hi Belle, Thanks. Kinda cheated with the soil but it tastes good and matched the dish well :)

    Hi Wag, Thank McFadgent!!

    Hi Joey, Thanks and Happy 2011 to you too :)

    Hi Sara, I was quite happy with the result. The colours and textures matched well.

    Hi Maria, Yeah I'm a Matcha freak too!! ;)

    Hi Yaya, Thks, Wasn't Wagson's plating good :)

  10. Umm, title of dish includes 'Matcha soil' and photo includes Matcha soil but recipe makes no mention of Matcha soil. I have no idea what Matcha soil is or how to make it. Any reason it was left out of the recipe?