Bay panna cotta with rhubarb parfait

This pretty pastel pink bay panna cotta recipe, a springtime favourite at Sorella in Clapham, combines the flavours of burnt bay leaves, seasonal rhubarb and white chocolate to create a stunning dessert that’s well worth the time it takes to create it. Used forced rhubarb if it’s in season (around January and February) for the most striking, colourful results. This dish is served at Robin Gill's restaurant Sorella, where Dean is head chef.

First published in 2018




Poached rhubarb


Rhubarb parfait

  • 40g of egg yolks
  • 70g of sugar
  • 1 3/4 gelatine leaves
  • 112g of whipping cream
  • 12g of gin

Bay panna cotta


  • Blender
  • Large vacuum bags
  • Chamber sealer
  • Water bath
  • Ice cream maker


Begin by topping and tailing the rhubarb batons until you have 50g of rhubarb trimmings. Place the trimmings, ginger and sugar in a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer the contents of the blender to a vacuum bag with the hibiscus, lime zest and rhubarb, vacuum seal using a chamber sealer and leave overnight to marinate
To make the shortbread, mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Thoroughly cream in the butter then add the egg yolks and vanilla to form a dough. Rest in the bowl for 10 minutes in the fridge then roll out between sheets of parchment paper to a 2mm thickness and place in the freezer until completely solid
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Bake the shortbread for 12 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool, crumble into rough pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve
When ready to make the parfait, cook the marinated rhubarb in a water bath at 63°C for 20 minutes. Drain the rhubarb and dice, retaining the liquid from the bag for making the parfait
To make the rhubarb purée for the parfait, add 75g of the diced rhubarb to a blender with 300g of the rhubarb poaching liquor and blitz until smooth. Meanwhile, add the yolks and sugar to a bain marie, whisking continuously until you have a sabayon
Bloom the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile, bring 25g of the whipping cream to the boil in a small saucepan with the gin. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine until dissolved. Pour the mixture into the sabayon, followed by the rhubarb purée. Whip the remaining cream and carefully fold into the sabayon mixture. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until set
  • 1 3/4 gelatine leaves
  • 12g of gin
  • 112g of whipping cream
To make the panna cotta, hold the bay leaves over an open flame until burnt. Pour the UHT into a vacuum bag, add the bay leaves and seal using a chamber sealer. Cook in a water bath for 3 hours at 85°C. If you don’t have sous vide equipment, add the burnt bay and UHT to a pan, cover with cling film and gently simmer for 3 hours 20 minutes, but do not allow the mixture to boil
Soak the gelatine in cold water until bloomed. Pass the UHT through a fine sieve into a clean pan, bring to the boil and stir in the gelatine. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour over the UHT and stir until dissolved. Stir in the vanilla, vodka, milk, salt and cultured cream, allow to cool to room temperature then pour into a container and leave to set in the fridge
To serve, add a scoop of the panna cotta to a serving plate. Scatter the diced poached rhubarb over the top, sprinkle over the shortbread pieces and add a quenelle of the parfait just before serving
First published in 2018

With an unwavering dedication to finding the best ingredients around and amplifying their flavour through a variety of techniques, Dean Parker is an exciting young chef who rose through Robin Gill's restaurant empire and now heads up his own restaurant in Glasgow.

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