Buttermilk panna cotta with mini doughnuts, raspberry jelly and mascarpone

Buttermilk panna cotta with mini doughnuts, raspberry jelly and mascarpone

A (slightly) grown-up version of jelly and ice cream with doughnuts for a special birthday.

Equipment and preparation: You will need four 8-10cm/3-4in ramekins.


For the panna cotta
  • 300ml/11fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
  • 100ml/3½fl oz condensed milk
  • 5 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for at least five minutes
  • 350ml/13fl oz buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 250g/9oz raspberries
  • 1-2 tsp icing sugar, to taste
For the raspberry jelly
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 500g/1lb2oz raspberries
  • 4 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for at least five minutes
For the mini doughnuts
  • 250g/9oz strong white flour
  • pinch salt
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 30g/1¼oz butter, softened
  • 150ml/5floz water
  • 1 tsp quick action yeast
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the mascarpone cream
  • 110g/4oz mascarpone cheese
  • 50ml/2fl oz double cream
  • 25g/1oz sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds only
To serve
  • 4 sprigs mint leaves
  • 110g/4oz raspberries

Preparation method

  1. For the buttermilk pannacotta, place the double cream in a small saucepan with the split vanilla pod and bring just to the boil.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the condensed milk to the cream.

  3. Drain the gelatine leaves and gently squeeze to remove excess water, then add to the hot cream mixture. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

  4. When the cream mixture is lukewarm, add the buttermilk and stir gently to combine.

  5. Remove the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds back into the cream mixture.

  6. Carefully pour the mixture into four dariole moulds, making sure that each ramekin has a good amount of the vanilla seeds in it.

  7. Place the moulds in the fridge to set for at least four hours.

  8. Purée the raspberries with a teaspoon of icing sugar and a tablespoon of water in a food processor.

  9. Strain the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if necessary, and set aside.

  10. For the jelly, place the sugar and 110ml/4floz water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

  11. Add the raspberries and warm through, then remove from the heat and pass through a sieve – don’t press through, just let the juice drip through.

  12. Measure 300ml/11fl oz of juice and place back into a saucepan.

  13. Drain the gelatin leaves and squeeze them gently to remove excess water, then add to the raspberry syrup and stir until dissolved.

  14. Line a baking tray with cling film and pour over the jelly to a depth of about 3mm/⅛ in. Chill in the fridge until set.

  15. For the doughnuts, in a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, salt, and caster sugar.

  16. Stir in the softened butter, water and yeast until the mixture comes together as a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for about one hour, or until doubled in size.

  17. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each into a ball.

  18. Line a tray with baking parchment and place the dough balls onto it, leaving plenty of room between each ball. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for a further 20 minutes.

  19. When the dough has proved, heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 150C/320F. Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  20. Carefully lower the doughnuts into the hot oil in batches and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  21. When the excess oil has drained off the doughnuts, place them onto a plate and dust with the remaining caster sugar until completely coated.

  22. For the mascarpone cream, whisk the mascarpone, sugar, cream and vanilla seeds together in a bowl until smooth.

  23. Remove the jelly from the fridge and cut into small squares about 2.5cm/1in square.

  24. Remove the panna cotta from the fridge and dip each mould into hot water for a few seconds, then gently turn out each panna cotta on to the centre of a large plate.

  25. Place two quenelles of the mascarpone cream onto each plate and top with the raspberry jelly squares.

  26. Place two doughnuts onto the plate and scatter the raspberries and mint around. Finish with a drizzle of raspberry purée.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Over 2 hours preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4