As you may or may not have guessed, I read a lot of food Blogs. Sometimes they are the only things that keep me sane and sometimes they push me right over the brink into crazy, but they never fail to inspire me. These guys and girls from across the globe use their beautiful pictures, words and ingredients to fill the on-line community with a passion for cooking. Every once in a while it seems that everyone has one thing in mind and every blog you click on has the same theme or main ingredient. For the past few weeks that has been true once more, and it seems like everyone out there is loving rhubarb right now. Bright pink stems are popping out at me from the computer screen in all sorts of dishes and even on a trip down to the shops I'm not safe from the pink assault. So today it seemed there was nothing else for it, I had no choice but to join in.
Armed with several spears of gorgeous forced rhubarb, a dessert book I'd been given as a present months ago (but thus far have not used) and a sense of adventure, I took my kitchen by storm. I wanted to try and make something I've never made before and use something I've never had the guts to use before. I was going big and aiming high, I set me sights on making panna cotta and using leaf gelatin for the first time! After some cream boiling, gelatin soaking, vanilla pod splitting and vodka adding, I put my little filled moulds into the fridge, fingers crossed. It was time to give the rhubarb my full attention. Pulling a jar of vanilla infused caster sugar off the shelf, I chucked the little chunks of pinky goodness into a saucepan and cooked them in a sugar syrup to a pulpy, sticky sauce. Heaven in a mouthful.
The moment of truth came after dinner. Will they slip out of the moulds without a fight, or will I be faced with a sad, collapsed mess? With baited breath and severe (tongue sticking out) concentration, I coaxed the little puddings out of their moulds. I let out a huge sigh of relief as one by one they flopped onto the plates, holding their shape. After drizzling them generously with the pink syrup, there was nothing else for me to do but grab a spoon and tuck in :)