Occasionally, my nieces will beg me for a fairy tale. A story stretched out in long terms, a multitude of voices and always a handsome prince. Though it be nothing more than pure nonsense, this is one story they have both enjoyed over shared giggles and imaginary tea parties.
The tale involves a lovely panna cotta, a plush bunny rabbit called Flopsy (bedtime stories always required stuffed furry friends) and a knightley young gentleman named Almond Granola (can you hear their bubbly laughter floating on the wind). Of course, Flopsy is featured in the photographs, but to see Panna, Almond, Ginger and Rhubarb, you must look a little closer. For all are present, but only some are real!
Once upon a teacup, gracefully poised on a saucer, in a cotton field far far away, there lived a sweet little girl called Panna Cotta and her two rather whimsical sisters Ginger and Rhubarb. I say whimsical because they are rather ostentatious, preferring bright, bold notes to highlight the somewhat simpler preferences of Panna Cotta. Oh yes, and then there was a handsome knight named Almond Granola…but more on that in another story!
Rhubarb, with her ruby red undertones and stalky build was the more balanced of the two. Ginger’s vivacious tan skin, deeply rooted personality and somewhat strong demeanor tended towards empowerment, but she secretly coveted Rhubarb’s calming abilities and softer tones!
Princesses of the robe, keepers of secrets, faithful dreamers each longing to stand on their own, each assured of their proud position in the world. Their castle stood tall, surrounding them with flowery sprays and green leafed boxy parterres. The walls were painted a creamy buttery yellow with pleasant vanilla bean trim. The furniture was a vibrant reddish pink with cozy blankets of ginger nearby should they catch a chill. All was Victorianly dainty and demurely ladylike in nature.
How could three of the loveliest flavors be so different and yet so very similar, you ask! Well, I’ll tell you. Perhaps their crowning achievement is as yet undiscovered? Afterall, the loveliest of memories come from the most unexpected of places. And this where our white knight Almond Granola would traditionally enter our tale, but you have had your dessert and now it is time for bed!
- 1½ tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Handmade Crème Fraîche
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1 stalk rhubarb, washed, dried, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/16 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Store bought granola, for decorating (I used Whole Foods' Vanilla Almond Macaroon Granola)
- Mix the powdered gelatin with the cold water and set aside to dissolve.
- Simmer the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in the gelatin and set aside to thicken for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour into a ramekin (or teacup), cover loosely with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until set.
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Wash, dry and trim the ends of a rhubarb stalk and cut into 2" matchsticks. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, sugar, ginger and vanillas. Add the rhubarb turning to coat evenly.
- Roast at 400° for 12-15 minutes until fork tender!
- Grab the panna cotta from the fridge, top with the warm roasted rhubarb and sprinkle with your favorite granola. Grab a spoon and dig in!