Tahini Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil, Sesame, and Orange

by burntttoast

I’m not much of a dessert person. But damn, I most certainly am a dessert person for this little number. The tahini and buttermilk come together beautifully in this very delicate panna cotta. There’s less gelatine in it than in a usual panna cotta, because I never understood the appeal of a bouncy dessert. Soft and almost fall-apart delicate is what we want. This soft, not too sweet panna cotta is nicely complemented with the crunch of chocolate soil, and is lent a nice savoury kick from the salty sesame seasoning. Finally, the orange offsets the dessert’s richness and brings satisfaction to even the most dramatic “I’m too full for dessert, especially if its panna cotta” guests.

Tahini Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Chocolate Soil, Sesame, and Orange

Makes 6-12 servings

2 sheets gelatine

250ml double cream

½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped

40g white sugar

2 Tbsp tahini

250ml buttermilk

Chocolate soil

35g white sugar

35g almond meal

20g flour

15g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

15g butter, melted

Salty sesame seasoning

2 Tbsp sesame

2 pinches salt

2 oranges, segmented – this yields about 20 orange filets

Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of water and set to the side. Combine the double cream, vanilla, and sugar in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Stir in the tahini and stir for half a minute. Squeeze out rehydrated gelatine sheets and add whisk into the mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until well combined. Pour into prepared cups, glasses, or bowls, or whatever tiny vessel you have hanging around. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until set.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate soil. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stir in the melted butter until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture looks mealy. Spread over a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool, then store in an airtight container.

For the sesame seasoning, toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over low heat until golden. Cool, then grind roughly with the salt. Set aside. For serving, either leave the panna cotta in the cups / glasses / bowls or upend them onto dessert plates. If you’re into those half-moon shapes I made, simply run a knife through the middle and around the edge of each panna cotta-filled glass and gently scoop each half out with a tablespoon. You can wodge any bits you missed under the panna cotta – you won’t see them after you’ve had a go with the chocolate soil. Nestle two orange filets next to each and sprinkle a teaspoon of chocolate soil between the two. top off with 1/3 of a teaspoon of the sesame seasoning. Serve.